8 Materials for Shipping Container Home Insulation


If you are interested in building a shipping container home, you should know that insulation for shipping container homes is essential. The insulation solutions used for regular homes don’t fit shipping container homes. Because metal is a good heat and sound conductor, this type of home usually requires additional insulation. To avoid ending up with a heat box or freezing home, insulate your shipping container home well. Take the climate into consideration when choosing an insulation solution. Also, bear in mind that condensation can also be an issue. To give you a helping hand, here are 8 of the best insulation strategies.

1. Spray foam for shipping container homes insulations

Spray foam is one of the most common types of insulation when it comes to shipping container homes. It is easy to apply and provides a great degree of insulation, as it can get into nooks and crannies. It is a type of insulation that prevents condensation from forming. This is due to a semi-permeable barrier that forms after the foam has been applied. It is also among the thinnest insulation that can be used. However, it is slightly pricier than other types of insulation. As a solution, spray foam is great for wet and cold climates.

2. Glass wool insulation blanket

This is an easy-to-find and a rather affordable type of insulation. You can choose between fiberglass and mineral wool, which is more natural but also more expensive. This insulation blanket comes in rolls or pre-cut batts. Using rolls gives you the freedom to cut the blanket according to your needs. But, considering that shipping containers are box-shaped, pre-cut batts can also work well. For the best results, two layers of insulation blanket should be applied. Unfortunately, this can lead to walls thicker than desired. However, it is an affordable solution and can be applied with ease.

shipping container home insulation material

3. Insulation panels

An insulation panel is a sandwich of two composite panels and an insulation barrier. An advantage of this solution is the fact that you can create them at the desired size. This way, there are no losses when using this type of insulation. Order the panels according to the dimensions of your walls and apply them accordingly. The panels can be easily fitted within stud walls. This solution can be combined with other structural insulation elements, such as an air barrier and a vapor barrier.

4. Plastered finish

The plastered finish is made out of clay, cement or sand, and sand plaster. This means that the walls will be finished with this mixture, which also has insulating properties. To make the structure stronger, it’s recommended to add more sand to the plasters. If you live in a cold and wet climate, avoid using clay-based plasters. Cement plasters are suitable for wet and hot climates alike. Ideally, clay plasters should be used on the exterior and cement plasters on the interior. One of the biggest advantages of plastered finishes is lower costs.

5. Eco-friendly Shipping Container Homes Insulations

It is easy to have an eco-friendly home when building with shipping containers. The benefit of using eco-friendly insulation materials is that they are safer for health and the environment. They are not toxic, so there are no risks for the air within your home to be contaminated. You can use organic materials like strawbales, sheep wool, or natural cotton to insulate your house. There are also in-organic solutions, like icyene and aerogel. Icyene is a foam sprayed with the help of water, so there are no gasses involved in the process. Aerogel is actually made out of frozen silica gel, which contains air in a proportion of 99%. These are safer but are more expensive than traditional insulation materials. In terms of costs, they can be three to four times higher than regular insulation.

6. Recycled materials

You may help our Planet by using recyclable materials for shipping container homes insulations.  Cellulose, for example, is a type of recycled material that can be used for home insulation. Cellulose is made out of paper, more precisely newspapers. The newspapers are shredded into small pieces and sprayed onto surfaces. Unfortunately, cellulose is prone to pests, dampness, and mold. It is also highly flammable and can get damaged by water. Another good recycled material for insulation is denim. Used for making jeans, denim is recycled cotton. It also needs to be shredded to serve as insulation. It is also possible to use recycled plastic as insulation when it comes to shipping container homes. The best parts of using recycled materials are that they are affordable and eco-friendly, reducing waste. However, they are not proper insulation methods, but more temperature control solutions. They work best in tropical climates.

7. Reflective roofs and walls

This strategy helps with heat loss with the help of radiant surfaces. A corrugated steel roof is used in this case. This type of roof is placed above the roof of the container. This way, it will reflect the sun’s rays and allow air to flow freely. These roofs are ideal to cool down shipping container homes in tropical regions. As the cool breeze enters the elevated roof, it conveys the hot air and reduces the temperature within the container. Besides this, openings in the walls of the container are also recommended for temperature control. For the best results, these openings should be placed on opposite walls of the container.

live plant thermal home roof insulation

8. Living roofs and walls

Shipping container homes insulations could be alive:-). Maybe you never thought of it, but living roofs and walls can provide great insulation. Those are surfaces holding live plants, such as a roof garden. Suitable for warm climates, such a solution can significantly reduce the temperature within the container. Temperature can drop by 6 to 8 percent with the help of a living roof only. This will reduce the costs generated by operating an air conditioning system. Such a roof should be elevated to allow proper airflow. Also, the weight of the planted roof should not stand on the container’s roof. Regarding walls, a planted trellis is also a good shield against heat. Natural climbing plants and vines are a good option for this solution. They create a beautiful visual effect while protecting against tropical heat.

Learn more about Shipping Container Homes Insulations here!

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