How Long Do Container Homes Last?
A lot more people are starting to use shipping containers as homes, garages, and even storage sheds. Most people no longer wish to have a 25+ year mortgage, so they are starting to look at alternatives to traditional stick-built homes. This got me thinking further, and I started comparing container homes with stick-built homes, and I began to wonder: how long do container homes last?
So how long do container homes last? You can expect to enjoy a container home for 30+ years. You can extend the lifespan of your home further by using a one-trip container. These containers have minimal dents, scrapes, and no rust, so they are less likely to develop leaks.
Read what else I discovered during my research…
How long does a shipping container home last?
A shipping container usually lasts between 10 – 25 years at sea, so you can easily expect your home to last 30+ years. Cargo containers last longer on land because they don’t experience the same wear and tear as they do at sea.
A container home will last even longer if you use a one-trip cargo container. Container home builders often use one-trip containers because they have minimal damage and have zero rust.
Rust and corrosion cause the most problems when it comes to container homes. If you notice any rust, you will want to take care of it asap.
Buying a one-trip container can extend the lifespan of your container home considerably…
Using a one-trip container will be the best option to extend your container homes life. One-trip containers usually come with a 5-year warranty when purchased through a container supplier. The warranty usually protects the container from corrosion and paint failure.
You will have to speak with a container supplier to see what their warranty covers. You may end up voiding your warranty if you modify the container. So make sure you ask about the warranty before making any modifications. You will have to alter the container if you plan to install windows and additional doors.
You’ll want to only purchase containers that are certified to be water and windproof. Doing your own inspection before buying any one-trip or cargo-worthy container is a good idea. If the container has too many problems move on to the next one. You should have lots of containers to choose from so you can be picky.
You should try to avoid containers that have excessive rust…
Rust and corrosion will eventually cause a hole to form in your container. This is really bad because mould can form if moisture enters a container home. Mould is dangerous, so it’s critical to take care of any rust/corrosion before it turns into a leak.
You may have leaks sooner if you decide to purchase an older cargo-worthy container. These containers are cheaper than one-trip containers but don’t let the price tag fool you…
A cargo-worthy container will have more dents and rust compared to a one-trip container. The extra dents and rust make these containers more prone to leaking. The leaks occur more often with these containers because microscopic cracks may form at impact sites (dents). Over time moisture will work its way into these cracks and rust and corrosion will occur which will eventually cause a hole to form.
Cladding will also help extend the life of your cargo container house
Installing cladding is also an excellent way to extend the lifespan of your container home…
Cladding helps protect your container home from all kinds of weather including rain, hail, and snow. Over time the paint on exposed containers begins to fail, and rust starts to form.
The rust created by the weathering steel forms a protective barrier to help protect the underlying steel. If this rust didn’t develop the sea water would quickly rot away the steel.
Cladding comes in all sorts of designs and colours so you should be able to find a design that works for you. It’s important to install cladding correctly to prevent water from reaching the underlying steel.
Installing a roof will help extend the life of a container home
Water leaks often occur in container ceilings because water pools on its surface. The pooling water leads to rust/corrosion, and eventually a hole.
Water entering the container through its ceiling is very bad. This is especially true if you have a finished ceiling. The water will saturate the insulation and drywall which can cause mould to develop. Mould is bad for your health, so you want to ensure the ceiling of your container remains waterproof.
You can eliminate pooling water by installing a suitable roof for your environment. You want to go with a gable roof if you live in an area that receives a lot of rain and snow. This roof design is really good at shedding both rain and snow. The gable roof is the most popular because it’s affordable and it’s straightforward to construct.
A gable roof is not ideal in areas that receive a lot of strong winds. If you live in such an area, you want to go with a hip roof instead.
I hope you now have a better understanding of what you can do to extend the life of your home. Taking a few precautions can extend the life of a container home considerably.
Remember only to buy waterproof containers. You can usually get a deal on containers that are not waterproof. I would personally avoid these containers because you will have to repair them before use.
This usually requires you to patch holes and repair the door seal. This can take considerable time, and in most cases, it’s always better to purchase a waterproof container.
A one-trip container is usually the best option for container homes because they have only made one trip across the ocean. These containers will have fewer dents, scrapes, and they should have zero rust.
With a one-trip container, you shouldn’t have to worry about leaks for a few years. You still want to make sure you regularly check for rust spots and treat them asap.