Constructing a house out of a shipping container is a cost-effective way to recycle unwanted containers. Supertech turns metal shipping containers into one-of-a-kind container houses making them extremely hardy and long-lasting.
Protecting your shipping containers from rust is crucial if you plan on using them to build a house. Let us now investigate the sources of rust in shipping containers and methods for rust prevention and repair.
Why Do Shipping Container Houses Rust?
Knowing what kinds of metals and metal alloys are used to make shipping containers will shed light on the rusting problem. Cor-ten steel is commonly used to construct shipping containers (also known as Weathering steel). Because an oxide film forms on the surface of Cor-ten steel, it is more resistant to corrosion. But it doesn’t prevent decay entirely.
Rust is formed when steel reacts with water and oxygen to produce hydrated iron (III) oxide. The containers undergo an oxidation reaction when exposed to oxygen and water. As a result, the environment in which the container is kept is a significant factor in rust.
Wet and dry cycles benefit a shipping container’s environment because they encourage the formation of an oxide film, which prevents corrosion. Locations with high salt levels in the air, precipitation, humidity, or fog are also unsuitable for container homes.
A similar phenomenon occurs when a container is constantly exposed to salty sea air instead of being stored in a climate with wet and dry seasons. This is because it promotes the oxidation reaction and limits the expansion of the oxide film. When water sits on the surface of the containers, rusting is at its worst.
What Are the Different Forms of Corrosion in Shipping Container Houses?
There is a considerable difference between structural and non-structural rust on shipping containers. Rust in non-structural areas is easily remedied and, despite being unsightly, rarely causes significant problems.
Structural rust is the primary source of worry for those who have invested in a shipping container home. This is not superficial rust; instead, it penetrates deeper into the metal and threatens the container’s strength. Also, there are still other parts of the house that can be impacted by water.
The bottom of the container is where most of the water will accumulate. Holes and cracks in walls are indicators of surface damage and corrosion of the protective layer. Water can seep in through the cracks in the window and door frames.
Rust can cause significant damage to your container house if you don’t take preventative measures. It can reduce the strength of the containers, making them more vulnerable to breakage. Water damage and leaks can occur inside your home if rust has created cracks that allow moisture to seep in.
Ways to Avoid Corrosion in Your Shipping Container House
Preventative measures are often the most effective way to deal with an issue. Building a house out of shipping containers is a great way to save money and avoid replacing containers because of rust. You can keep your shipping containers from succumbing to corrosion by following these steps:
Keep moisture away from container base
Corrosion is significantly increased if water pools around the containers’ bases. Install a reliable gutter system with downspouts that direct water away from your house’s foundation by at least a few feet. Once the water has eroded the bottoms of the containers, it may be able to seep into the empty spaces within the walls.
Use fasteners made of galvanised steel
Metal beams and other structural components used to reinforce the container and create window and door frames are often fastened in place with fasteners. Using cheap, easily corroded parts raises the probability that their connected counterparts will also rust. Galvanised steel should be used for all metal parts, including the fasteners, to prevent corrosion.
Prevent Condensation on the Roof
Metal roofs are typical on dwellings constructed using shipping containers. Condensation, which can lead to corrosion, can be prevented by applying a protective coating to the roof. Polyester fibres and plastics are frequently used to make protective layers of roofing material. The material provides additional protection against water damage to your roof. Insulation is essential in cold climates to prevent condensation and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
Protect your windows and doors
Keep the containers out of the elements as much as possible, and be aware of your surroundings. Corrosion commonly occurs in the sash and frame of windows and doors. Your windows and doors will be safe from harm if you install overhangs. The overhangs prevent rain from hitting the window and door frames, preventing puddles from forming at the window sill and door bottom.
The metal shipping containers can be protected from rust by an anti-corrosion coating. The metal underneath is shielded from the elements by a paint or acrylic layer. Your shipping container home’s metal siding should also have a protective coating to keep it rust free.
The Cure for Rust in Shipping Containers
The rusting of shipping containers needs to be checked in an optimal fashion. However, it can not always be prevented. So, removal of rusting becomes a necessity in such a situation Further damage to the container, which could turn the issue from non-structural to structural, necessitates additional protection.
Vinegar can be applied topically and allowed to dry on the affected areas. The rusted areas can be wire brushed first and then sanded smooth for the final step. You can use DTM (direct-to-metal) paint to further protect the cleaned surfaces. After cleaning them, you can paint the stains over, and a primer and topcoat are applied.
Sandblasting, sealing, and finally painting the container is expensive but tried and true. You can be sure the rust is gone when you get down to the point where it is no longer visible on the metal. Once the rusting has been removed, it is always prudent to seal and paint the container home.
Using a cathodic approach is usually the right way forward. By using zinc paint’s anti-rust properties you can set things right. Zinc paint of high quality will have a dry zinc powder content of at least 90%. Zinc anodes could also be welded or bolted into the hulls to prevent rust.
Parting Thoughts from Supertech
Metal containers can rust if they get wet. However, cor-ten steel is used to construct shipping containers, the steel is not resistant to rust or corrosion. As its name implies, cor-ten steel only delays the rusting process. Even with non-metal additions like an asphalt roof and vinyl siding, rust remains a problem when constructing a home out of shipping containers.
Preventing rust from forming on shipping containers is the best way to keep them in good condition. If you find the rust early, you can stop it from spreading. Being one of the leading container houses companies, at Supertech, we emphasise preventative care and regular checks. Give us a call if you are looking for a first-rate container home.