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Weather Proofing the Container House

Swartland Municipality want our shipping container house to be clad so it doesn’t look like a stack of shipping containers from the outside. We’re quite happy with this because cladding will help with insulation. But, it does mean that we have to take some extra precautions in regards to weather proofing the container house.

Because the shipping containers are going to be clad with fibre cement boards, we will have no way of knowing if the shipping containers underneath are rusting. We are taking every precaution now, before we clad the containers, to reduce as much chance of rust as possible.

One advantage for us is that shipping containers are made out of a steel alloy known as Corten steel. This steel is a copper chromium alloy that is resistant to rust, and therefore a good choice for anything to do with the ocean. But, Corten steel does rust, given enough time.

Painting the Shipping Containers

Therefore, before any cladding is to take place, we are painting every surface with the best quality paint possible. The paint we are using is actually used to paint the hulls of ships. Nothing gets through this industrial coating! But before we could paint, we had to remove any loose dirt and loose rust. It was very hard work brushing down the sides of the containers with a wire brush!

Testing out the paint
Testing out the paint

We only had to get rid of the loose rust, thankfully. We didn’t have to worry too much about the existing but intact rusty patches. We could paint directly over them and the old paint. The paint we are using is THAT good!

Preparing the Cladding

We’re using fibre cement boards from UFCC to do the cladding. (You may know fibre cement boards as “Nutec” boards – we are not using the Nutec brand.) This is definitely going to make a difference in the temperature control of our new house. The area in which we stay gets extremely hot at above 40 degrees Celsius in summer, and night temperatures in winter are below freezing as can be proven by the ice on the cars. We want to keep the interior of our house warm in winter and cool in summer. Cladding and insulation is going to help with this.

In winter, it gets a bit cold where we live

We’re quite pleased with the fibre cement boards that we bought from UFCC. They have a wood grain pattern embossed on them which will give a wood look to our finished house. We are going to mount them in a ship-lap style. I think that the end result will have a bit of a rustic vibe, which will suit our area quite well.

Wood grain ship lap fibre cement boards for weather proofing the container house
Can you see the wood-grain pattern?

Of course, we don’t want any mould growing, should condensation manage to make its way between the board and the house. Therefore, before we start mounting any of the boards, we are priming both sides of every individual board with plaster primer. We bought almost two tonnes of boards – that’s a lot of priming to do!

Bare Metal

As you know, there’s quite a bit of bare steel too where Kevin welded in support beams for the roof. There are also several lengths of flat bar and angle iron used to secure the containers to each other. That all needed to be painted with red oxide paint. Red oxide paint chemically bonds to steel which helps reduce the formation of rust. This paint is a primer for steel and gives the topcoat paint something to adhere to.

weather proofing the container house with red oxide paint
A friend painting the upright supports with the red oxide

We have a lot of painting to do for weather proofing the container house!

A Paint Party to Help with Weather Proofing the Container House

Thinking about all this paint work to complete was quite daunting. We therefore decided to have a paint party. We invited some of our friends who have shown interest in the project over for a Saturday afternoon of work. Once our friends arrived, we all chipped in and got to work painting.

Our awesome friends worked hard alongside us and between us all we made a huge dent in the painting work. It was lots of fun chatting together as we worked side-by-side.

weather proofing the container house by painting with ship hull paint
Many hands make light work

Once the sun began to dip too low, we enjoyed a braai together and enjoyed each other’s company just bit longer.

A huge thank you to our friends! Your support is most appreciated!

Some of the guys relaxing with a beer while waiting for the fire

8 thoughts on “Weather Proofing the Container House

  1. I am stealing ideas all the time. Keep on keeping us updated as you solve each problem or question.
    Your friends appreciate it. 🙂

    1. Awesome! I am so curious to know what you are doing with the ideas from our blog. You may just have to start a blog of your own … 😉⌨

  2. Your project looks very good, Once your cladding is on you will be well protected from the elements.
    That roof looks awesome too.! – Lots of room in there for storage 🙂

    1. Thanks. We will post an article on the roof soon 😁 watch this space

  3. What a great idea to have a paint party and turn work into fun! (Channelling Mary Poppins?) And you have fantastic friends too – not only offering to help but putting their money where their mouth is! That was a LOT of painting to do – you must have been ravenous by the time you sat down to eat your boerwoers.

    1. Food always tastes better with friends 😁🌭

  4. Could you please tell me what is the make of the paint use for bare metal to prevent and protect against rust. I have a 30 000 metal water staorage tank which is starting to rust. thankx. Following your blog with facination !

    1. We used red oxide paint and Jotun Conseal on the containers. For your tank Kevin recommends using an NS4 or NS7 from Duram after removing the rust with a wire brush or sandpaper and then covering it with the Jotun Conseal afterwards as the top seal. It will be a little expensive but shouldn’t cause further problems.

      Thank you so much for reading our blog!

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