Shipping Container Insulation


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Are you ready to start living in a shipping container?

Are you planning to build and design your own shipping container?

Do you need some DIY steps that can help you insulate your shipping container?

Once you start building the shipping container to convert it into a home, it is important to take care of the insulation. In this article, we will help you go through each and every step that you will need in order to easily and properly insulate your shipping container.

Read on to know more about why you need to insulate the shipping container, whether or not you can do it on your own or need a professional, what materials can work best for your shipping container, and also, detailed steps that will help you do it all on your own.

Why do you need to insulate a shipping container?

You already know that a shipping container is a very sturdy and durable cabin that is made of steel and will keep your home in good stead. However, the one thing you also need to understand when you plan to convert a shipping container into a house is that it is very important to first insulate the container properly.

  • One key feature of a steel container, such as the shipping containers are made of, is that they absorb the weather conditions of the place they are set up in.
  • This means that, a shipping container will get extremely hot in the summer time and very cold during the winter months.
  • It is important to insulate the shipping container before you actually start living in it, as insulation will make it comfortable and ideal for living. 
  • Also, insulation will help to prevent any issues of condensation that may otherwise be present in the shipping container.

Can you insulate a shipping container on your own?

Once you are ready to start work on your shipping container, the first step is to insulate it properly. The following sections will show you how you can insulate the container properly, before moving in.

Once you have all the materials in place and know what to do, you can insulate a shipping container on your own, without the help of professionals to do so.

PROS & CONS of Insulating a Shipping Container Yourself

Here are some of the pros and cons of insulating a shipping container yourself, versus hiring someone to do it:


  • Do it in your time
  • Absolutely sure it is done the right way in your supervision
  • Customize the insulation in case there is a change of place for the shipping container home


  • This option may not do the best job as compared to someone who is qualified to do so

How To Insulate A Shipping Container (QUICK & EASY)

Materials & Equipment Needed

  • The insulation material that you have chosen for your shipping container home
  • Something to cut the material into relevant pieces
  • Adhesive to make sure the pieces are in place
  • Duct tape

Insulating the Ceiling(STEP BY STEP)

  1. Add the material along the side of the corners of the shipping container.
  2. Do this where the first row of the panels have been placed.
  3. At the back of the panel, add adhesive along the ribbing area.
  4. Make sure to install the wall panels before you add the ceiling panels.

Insulating the side of the shipping container walls (STEP BY STEP)

  1. Cut out the insulating material in the right measurements that you need.
  2. Now apply the adhesive in a zig zag manner on the surface area where you want to place the insulating material.
  3. Push in the panel tightly packed close to each other so that there is no space in between the insulating panels.

Installing CX44 walls (STEP BY STEP)

  1. Duct tape the panels together so that you get a stable base
  2. Add layers of adhesive on the base of the wall
  3. You can also use spray foam to help create a kind of moisture and air seal that will form between the rows of the panels.
  4. Now strongly hold the base that you created earlier and place it on the wall.
  5. Make sure that you fit it in tightly and push it hard on the wall so that there is no gap anywhere.
  6. For the wall panels, you can use tubes of Loctite PL Premium or any other similar product that you want to use.
  7. This is the same procedure you will have to use to insulate the entire wall as well as all the walls in the shipping container home.

What is the best insulating material to use for a container home?

There is no one material that you can use as the best insulating material for all shipping container homes. The material that will work the best for your shipping container will depend on a number of factors. Here are a few things that can help you decide about the material you want to use for your shipping container home:

Option #1

The climate and weather:

  • Choose a material depending on where the shipping container home will be.
  • This will vary based on whether the climate there is usually very hot or very cold.
  • You will need different types of insulating materials depending on whether you will use the shipping container home in a wet or dry climate.

Option #2


  • You should also keep in consideration your overall budget.
  • Have an idea in advance of how much you are willing to spend on the insulation.

Option #3

Air infiltration:

  • If a lot of air will come in through your container home, it could affect the insulation.
  • Using fibreglass or mineral wool may help.

Option #4

Overall home area:

  • The surface area of the home will play a role in how much heat gets absorbed.
  • When you have a bigger area, you need more insulation.

Option #5

Problem of rusting:

  • If you are setting up the shipping container home in a wet climate, it can be quite damaging to the shipping container in the long run and lead to problems such as rusting.
  • Regular exposure to water can end up causing rust on the steel container and pose problems in the future.
  • Also, condensation can lead to problems in the interior of the shipping container, so choose the material wisely.  

Other Things to keep in mind when you insulate a shipping container:

  • Make sure that you are insulating all the surface area of the shipping container.
  • There should not be any gaps or open areas in between the panels of insulation that you are putting up on the walls.
  • If you do not insulate properly and there is some space left between the insulated parts, it could cause a lot of condensation to take place on the inside parts of the metal walls on the outside.

Some of the most common shipping container insulation materials:

  • Cellulose
  • Fibreglass
  • Natural fibres
  • Mineral wool
  • Cementitious foam
  • Polyisocyanurate
  • Phenolic foam

We are sure that all the information you found here will help you choose the best insulating material for your shipping container home and insulate it yourself using the DIY steps that we have shared. In addition, make sure that the material you choose for insulation is in compliance with all fire safety guidelines.  

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