Although there are many ways to insulate and frame in a shipping container, Eco Spray Insulation has some of the best methods available to help you insulate your shipping container. The main challenge of properly insulating a container home has to do with the depth of the walls. If you are connecting several shipping containers to build a home, space on the inside of the walls might won’t be an issue because of the extra square footage of the house. If you want a tiny homemade from one or two shipping containers, space will be a premium. In this case, we add insulation to the exterior and then cover it with some exterior cladding.
Types of Insulation
Spray Foam Insulation
The easiest and quickest way that we can insulate a container home is with spray foam insulation. We spray the material onto both the interior and exterior walls of a shipping container. Many shipping containers have highly toxic paints to withstand life at sea. Spray foam insulation can trap those toxins that could off-gas into your home.
Sustainable homes and construction is the goal to reach in these cases. A lot of companies offer natural, cotton-based insulation made from recycled, post-consumer denim and cotton sourced from used jeans and other clothing products.
Cotton insulation has an R-Value of 3.5 per inch, similar to fiberglass insulation. The commercial denim insulation is usually treated with boric acid, a natural fire retardant.
The negative side is that denim insulation does require a vapor barrier. If it gets wet, it will become dense, lose some of its insulation properties, and take a long time to dry out.
Another natural insulation alternative from renewable and natural materials is sheep wool. This environmentally friendly insulation alternative has an R-value of 3.5 per inch, similar to that of fiberglass, denim, or other fibrous insulation types. The lanolin in sheep wool is a naturally flame retardant.
Which is the R value to insulate a container?
A: When we apply fiberglass insulation, it is used a standard thickness of 3 ½” and will provide an insulating value of R-13
A: When we apply rigid polystyrene foam panels it is used approximate insulating value of R-5 per inch
A: When we apply closed cell spray foam which is the most efficient insulation, it will offer the highest insulation value (approximately R-6 per inch). The spray foam completely covers the surface of the shipping container walls. There are no gaps between the insulation and the container’s wall (as there are with fiberglass or polystyrene panels). There is much less risk of condensation or moisture developing with closed cell spray foam. There is no need to frame out the interior as the spray foam sticks very quickly.
Condensation in a Container
Container condensation happens when the walls of a container become cooler than the dew point of the air inside the container. Because containers are made of metal, internal temperatures can change due to weather changes and other external factors. When the container cools significantly, the air is no longer able to contain its moisture and that means that it has reached its dew point.
When this thing happens, the moisture falls out of vapor into liquid form. This condensation can drip on your cargo and ruin it.
Shipping condensation known as container rain can damage cargo through:
- Packaging deterioration
- Mold and mildew
- Caking of powder found in goods
It’s important to learn how to stop condensation in a shipping container to prevent losses.
What Affects the Amount of Condensation in a Container?
- Temperature: Depending on the weather. The temperatures change and they can ruin everything.
- Air Space: The more space left open is in the container, you will have a lot of moisture problems.
- Ventilation: If a shipping container is not properly ventilated, the flow of air is stuck in there causing a further buildup of moisture.
- The moisture content of shipped goods: Paper, cardboard, wood, organic materials, chilled foods and beverages, and other commonly shipped products can release moisture when the temperature outside of the container it’s not the same as inside.
- Container usage: The way your container is treated during packing processes is another factor. The following facets of container usage can affect the amount of moisture in the container:
- The frequency that the doors are opened
- The frequency at which a container is loaded or unloaded
- Weather conditions
- Time of day
Which are the benefits of insulating the container?
- Save money by living in a small area. You can buy a container for a few dollars and convert it into living space without spending a lot of money. And there is no need for you to buy a house.
- It can be built very quickly. Building a house can take months and you will spend time and money on it. You will be so stressed out if the project will come as you like. Insulating a container will take some weeks and there is not that much to do.
- Live Eco-friendly. Shipping container homes are energy efficient. Insulating your container will help you and the environment around you. Smart choice!
- No more DIY work. You don’t need to do electrical work as you would do if you were building a house.
- Safe and even more space. It’s going to be a safe and cozy environment for you to live in and also you will have more space.
- Permanent Home. You can use it as a permanent residence or vacation home.