Housing innovations are constantly taking place all over the world. Shipping containers will be the future of building in the near future. While creating houses from shipping containers, doubts regarding their lifespan and longevity arise in everybody’s mind. Let us learn more about the methods to increase the life of shipping container homes here.
Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Shipping Container Homes
Shipping containers can withstand severe weather conditions like wind and rain. As shipping containers are made with steel, they are highly susceptible to rust. A shipping container home has an average life span of 25-30 years when left uncovered and up to 50 years when it is under a roof. However, a few other factors determine the life span of a shipping container. They are:
- Age of the shipping container
- The location where the container is placed
- Condition of the container
- Construction materials and methods
Ways to Increase the Longevity of Container Homes
With the above information, it is now clear that it is impossible to determine the exact life span of a shipping container home. However, it is possible to increase longevity with proper maintenance and usage. There are some effective and proven techniques to extend the life span of a container home. It is essential to follow these methods to ensure that the elevated container home stays in a good form for many years.
After purchasing a shipping container, the first step will be to inspect it thoroughly. in most cases pre-used shipping containers will be allotted for building homes. Thus it is necessary to look out for cracks, dents, and rust on the exterior shell. These reduce the life span of the shipping container and have to be addressed immediately to prevent further deterioration.
Steps to Improve the Life Span of Container Homes
Preferring Factory-built Container Homes
Factory-built homes denote durability as they are always made of new shipping containers. Factory-built homes are used only for a single trip, and their life span will be somewhere between 25 to 40 years. Therefore, when purchasing them, one can be sure that the durability factor is not compromised.
Engaging in Container Modification Services
A container modification service will help fix the dents, cracks, and rust in the shipping container. As these are the major factors that reduce the life span of the container, it is mandatory to address them with proper maintenance right from the beginning. Rust is the most dangerous issue as it further deteriorates the container with time when left untreated. Container modification services clean and clear the rusted area and thus reduce the risk of further corrosion.
Insulating & Cladding
Minimising moisture content in the container is another effective method to extend its lifespan. Insulating and cladding are the ideal techniques to combat moisture. It is essential to do both the methods before the modification process. Various insulation materials available in the commercial market are designed to prevent the heat from entering the container walls. Any insulation will trap air and gas with its complex matrix tiny cell structure. It ensures that the container becomes resistant to heat and cold. Cladding covers the entire container’s external layer with wood or similar materials. Doing so helps shield the metal from sunlight, chemical irritants, and moisture. Cladding protects, whereas insulation offers a safe temperature for the inhabitant.
Building Roofs for Shipping Containers
Nobody can underestimate the power of roofs. A roof is an essential part of a home to protect it from rain and sun. It will be the first defense against external factors and will effectively increase the life of a shipping container. A proper roof will offer shade and help keep the home at a comfortable temperature. In colder environmental conditions, the roof acts as an insulation to keep the home warm. It is best to keep the roof clean and clear from debris in any circumstance. When the roof is exposed to dirt, it automatically traps excess moisture, causing the container to deteriorate.
Applying Paint to Prevent Rust
Regularly priming, painting and buffing a container home protects the exterior and keeps it safe. Studies state that before 2017, containers were not manufactured with the intention of modifying them into homes. Thus, the paint in most shipping containers purchased before 2017 is not recommended. It is better to repaint containers manufactured before 2017 with direct-to-metal coatings. DTM is safe for human usage as they do not have any harmful chemicals.
Installing Siding to the Exteriors
The siding on the exterior of the container walls provides extra protection and increases the lifespan further. Beyond just making a box, it is recommended to make a few cuts and welds on the container to attach the sidings with adhesives. The sidings can be composite wood, fiber cement, or vinyl. When opting for wood sidings, always choose mechanical fasteners to fix the wood panels. In this case, the mechanical fasteners would play a better role than the cuts and holes on the exterior walls. Ensure to keep the shipping container well-ventilated and dry under all circumstances to reduce the risk of damage and breakage.
Fixing on Firm Foundation
Fixing the container home on a sturdy foundation is essential to ensure that the home does not sink after a few years. If the soil comprises of more clay and is soft, add extra support to the foundation. A few foundation choices are blocks, raft structures, concrete slabs, and piers. The cost-effective way to place a container raised off the ground, is to install ConFoot legs. ConFoot is lightweight steel that supports up to 30 tonnes of weight and is highly affordable at the same time.
Removing debris is a mandatory process to be followed by container homeowners at least twice a year. Cleaning debris after a storm or rain will prove to be more effective in increasing the container’s longevity. Ground debris like piles of leaves can attract moisture in the foundation and thereby reduce the lifespan of the container homes, making them highly prone to rusting.
While cutting doors and windows, one must take extra care to close the small spaces. Moisture tends to get in through the tiny modified openings if they are not sealed properly. Therefore, after every modification, it is essential to treat the opening with insulation or silicone. Another popular choice is spray foam, as it can effortlessly adhere to the corrugated container walls. Spray foam is better than other insulation materials since it does not cause condensation.
Lubricating Moving Parts
The moving parts of the container homes like latches, locks, gaskets, and hinges have to be lubricated to increase the container home’s lifespan. The lubricating process must frequently be performed to ensure that the simple parts do not rust and stay in good condition.
The above article has given you an in-depth insight into maintaining container homes and what causes deterioration in them. By now, you would have clearly understood that the life span of shipping containers is directly linked to the maintenance processes. SuperTech Industries brings the most affordable container homes to your doorstep in UAE, Dubai with the best designs and styles. For more details, get in touch with us.