The Detroit Post
Thursday, 21 October, 2021

Do Container Homes Rust

Paul Gonzalez
• Friday, 08 January, 2021
• 7 min read

Wet and dry climates will affect shipping containers differently. When it comes to surface rust, however, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t necessarily indicate that the container itself is worthless.

container rust rusty door cargo


When a piece of metal corrodes, the electrolyte helps provide oxygen to the anode. For those of us who haven’t taken a chemistry course since 11th grade, it can be difficult to wrap our heads around the science of rusting.

This forms a weak carbonic acid, which begins to corrode, rust, or pit the metal. Another point: Storage containers are designed to be airtight and watertight; they’re traversing oceans, after all.

But once the containers reach dry land, this same protective air- and water-tightness can actually lead to rust. Poor ventilation leads to condensation, which can cause the steel container to rust.

Furthermore, most containers are initially constructed with special alloys that form a surface level of rust that helps prevent deeper corrosion (or the corrosion process itself). And last but not least, homeowners can prevent shipping container rust via vigilant and regular maintenance to fix problem areas if and when they arise.

Many people are under the false belief that shipping containers are bulletproof and rustproof. While many general purpose shipping containers are made from Cor-ten steel, this does not mean that they are rustproof.

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However, for this oxide film to develop, it requires interchanging wet and dry cycles. The dry cycle creates the oxide layer which gives the container its nonporous state.

This reaction between the steel, the water, and oxygen causes hydrated iron (III) oxide to form, which we can visibly see as rust. A container which is constantly exposed to sea air that is full of salt will rust much faster than one in a climate with alternating wet and dry cycles.

An ideal climate for a shipping container is one which has alternating wet and dry cycles, as this promotes the growth of the oxide film which limits corrosion. However, a dry climate is also suitable, but clearly isn’t ideal since it will lack the wet cycle.

Shipping containers can also rust as a result of being damaged during transit and movement. Pay attention to any points of contact during transportation, including the sides, top and bottom when they are stacked together.

The underside of the doors can rust away because they sometimes allow water to collect beneath them for long periods of time. The importance of inspecting the shipping container before you make your purchase cannot be overestimated.

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The real concern for shipping container homeowners is structural rust. This is rust which has gone beneath the surface level and can actually reduce the container ’s structural integrity.

In some extreme cases, the rusting is so extensive that it’s best to cut your losses, discard the container and start again. There are three key ways which you can prevent rust from building up on your shipping container : pre-construction, maintenance and location.

This means that you plan your build to ensure that your shipping containers aren’t exposed to severe weather any more than is necessary. We recommend that you notice problem areas early as a way to prevent extensive rust corrosion.

During this visual inspection, notice whether anything has fallen on your container and damaged the protective coating. Unless repaired, dents can collect rain water which will speed up the corrosion process.

As previously mentioned, areas that have salt laden air, high rainfall, humidity, or persistent fog don’t make ideal locations for shipping container homes. These types of locations require that you shouldn’t build shipping container homes without applying additional protection to the containers.

insulation container shipping foam spray

So, you can prevent a lot of rust on your containers just by selecting the right location and climate. Often, you can remove small patch(BS) of rust using a wire brush and sand paper.

Once the rust has been removed, use vinegar and rub this gently on the cleaned areas and leave to dry. After the vinegar has dried, use marine grade DTM (direct to metal) paint and cover the cleaned area.

Like the title, will container house rust ? After the general container house is used for 3-5 years, after wind and rain, rust will appear to a certain extent, which will affect the appearance.

Our modular container house adopts the latest design and technology, with a galvanized layer on the outside of the steel, multi-layer protection, and more anti- rust, and the modular house can be used for longer time. We not only have anti- rust technology, we have also updated the design to maximize the customer’s body feeling and the service life of our products.

An excellent drainage system on the roof system, the middle purling is much higher than others, so the roof will have a slope, the water will flow down directly. There is 4 water gutters above 4 roof beams, and 4 drainpipes in 4 columns, the water will from the roof to the ground directly.

container building written budget built rustic

Wood rots; mortar between bricks or stone crumbles. Most shipping containers are made from COR-TEN steel, which is strong, durable, and resistant to corrosion.

Minimize the exposure of the containers to weather, and be aware of your physical situation. Plan on using shade to help keep the home cooler in summer.

Either a full basement or crawl space will be better, especially since either one allows access to the underside of the container. During the design process, make sure any areas which might catch water are either eliminated or covered.

If leaves can be trapped in a spot, find ways to correct them. The hardwood floor of the container may have suffered water damage.

While the insulating effects of the paint have been questioned, it does keep the risks of further corrosion down as much as possible. Insulation should be considered carefully, as too much will take up room inside the container.

shipping container insulating barrier vapor they process construction

The most likely place for undue rust /corrosion is where the container has been dented or damaged. Branches and acorns can cause dings, which break the paint or the oxidation layer.

Letting water stand on the roof will endanger your container faster than any other risk. Take pictures of any cosmetic rust spots found on the container.

That said, inspect a container home after any major weather event. After it’s clear, the container is ready for priming, sealing, and painting.

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