Are Container Homes Hurricane Proof?

Are Container Homes Hurricane Proof?

Since we added our container home line to our business, we have had inquiries about how container homes stand up to the elements and major disasters.  A lot of potential customers out of the South, especially Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, and Alabama wonder whether container homes can withstand hurricane force winds and storms.

Are Container Homes Hurricane Proof?  Whether a single unit, or multiple units connected, shipping containers can withstand 100 Mph winds if it is placed on a foundation, or 175 Mph winds when anchored down with pylons. 

Since they are used to transport goods across the oceans, they are also built to be waterproof. Placing it on a foundation, especially one raised significantly off the ground will help to keep standing water or wind-driven rain from entering your home.

Factors On How And Where To Place Your Container Home

Container homes can definitely be used in every climate and area of the world, but there are some factors that play into how and where you should place your new home.

Shipping containers are made from one of the strongest building materials available, Corten Steel.

Corten steel is a weather resistant steel.  It is a copper chromium alloy steel, which allows greater resistance to atmospheric weathering when compared to other unalloyed steel.

One of the most important things to consider when researching or purchasing a container home is where are you going to place it.  

The other thing is how safe and secure is the location of the land you’ve purchased from incoming storms. 

Another thing to consider when purchasing or DIY a container home is that the more you cut out of the walls for windows and doors the weaker and more unstable the container becomes.  It is very important to make sure that you follow local building codes, and also reinforce the areas that have had holes cut into them.

If building in areas prone to heavy storms, hurricanes, or tornados it is always a good idea to hire an architect to help you plan the most secure way to build a foundation and place your container home.

 

What Are Some Other Precautions I Can Make For My Container Home?

Building a berm can provide you with a little more safety from incoming storms.  If you do decide to build a berm you will want to build it in the direction that the majority of the storms come in from.

Another solution would be to bury your container home, either partially or completely to keep it out of storm damage.

Of course, by doing so you sacrifice windows, views, etc., but your home would be more protected.

Burying a shipping container isn’t quite as simple as digging a hole and putting it in.

It is possible, and highly likely, that if you bury it without reinforcing the walls that it will collapse on you.

Are There Hurricane Windows Available?

Hurricane windows, or impact resistant windows, are readily available, especially in coastal areas and areas prone to storms.  Before impact resistant windows were available for homes the automotive industry had been using laminated safety glass for quite a while.

The way they are made is that two or more panes of glass are held together by an interlayer(s) of either ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) or polyvinyl butyral (PVB).

When the glass breaks, instead of glass shards flying everywhere the glass will produce “spider web” cracking, same as when your windshield in your car cracks.  There are different thicknesses of laminate to help stop projectiles and keep the window intact as well.

Not only does it protect you from glass and projectiles, but impact resistant windows and doors also reduce noise, increase security, and block 99% of harmful UV ray . The windows still allow in natural light during a storm and also improve energy efficiency.

What Is The Best Way To Secure a Container Home?

The best way to secure a container home is by mounting it on a foundation. 

If you’re planning on having a mobile container home, then you will want to bolt the container to the foundation instead of welding it on.

In addition to mounting to a foundation, there are a variety of products available to anchor and strap your home down for some extra protection from strong winds.

Products available include: Steel arrowhead anchors; Bullet anchors; and PE26, PE 36, or PE 46 Earth Penetrator 

Penetrators screw right into the ground.

For the cable anchors you will use a drive rod to drive the anchor into the soil.

The anchor’s cable tail follows it down, and when at depth, the cable is pulled back to rotate and lock in the anchor.

Will My Container Home Rust Faster If I Am In An Area Prone To Heavy Storms?

Container homes in areas prone to wet atmospheric conditions, i.e., fog, snow, or rain will need to be checked for rust spots more often than someone who has set up a home in a drier climate, like, Arizona.

The average lifespan of a container is about 25 years.  Used containers are typically used for about 10 years before they are taken out of service, and if left as is will last you another 15 years.  However, there are things that you can do to prevent rust and increase the lifespan of your home.

It is extremely important that if you notice rust spots that you treat them immediately. 

The longer that it goes untreated the more damage it will do and the harder it will be to fix or repair the problem area.

Small areas of rust need to be scraped off until you see metal underneath.  This can be accomplished by using a thin wire brush, sand paper, and good old elbow grease.

If you catch it early enough, then the wire brush should be all that you need to do to remove rust patches.

If the problem has gone on for too long, then it might become necessary to sandblast to remove the rust.

After all the rust spots are removed and cleaned up the next step is to paint the metal and then seal the paint.

Certain paints are designed to be rust resistant. Painting the container is a great and easy way to prevent rust. 

It should be done at least every ten years to stay on top of rust issues.

You can also prolong the lifespan of your container home by adding external cladding. 

Good cladding can add decades and won’t be damaged by rot and/or termites.  Some materials are rated to last over fifty years.

Protect Your Strong Container Home

A container home is strong enough to withstand a hurricane if properly secured, protected, and maintained.  Just like a conventional home, maintenance and upkeep is a must if you want your home to have a longer lifespan.  Your container home is made from one of the strongest building materials, so it makes sense to equip and furnish it with long lasting materials.

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