Do Shipping Container Homes Rust Over Time?

Shipping Containers and Rust

Shipping container homes are made out of metal, so of course, they can rust. However, it’s not as cut and, um, dry as that. A lot of it depends on the climate where the container is located. Wet and dry climates will affect shipping containers differently.

When it comes to surface rust, however, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t necessarily indicate that the container itself is worthless. Shipping containers are designed to last and to be rugged in and out of all kinds of weather. In fact, a container marked by surface rust or rust patches can survive a storm just as well as a non-rusted, spankin’-new container.

About Shipping Container Grades

At Container Stop, we have a wide range of containers available for sale or for rent. We have what we call “one-trippers” — so named because they’ve literally only made one trip — to containers that appear battered and bruised. But please keep in mind: Regardless of appearances, all Container Stop containers will protect the contents of what’s inside.

We guarantee it. In fact, Container Stop guarantees that all our containers are wind and watertight.

Our highest-grade containers are like new — with very little dents or dings. Even the paint on these containers shines like new. After these, we grade our containers on the amount of surface damage (dents, dings, rust patches), plus the condition of the paint, floors, and doors. The containers at the lower end of our grading scale can have numerous and large areas of surface rust — but as we mentioned, even these experienced and well-worn containers are safe from the elements.


What is rust, anyway? For the answer, we turn to

R­ust is the common name for a very common compound, iron oxide … Iron combines very readily with oxygen — so readily, in fact, that pure iron is only rarely found in nature. Iron (or steel) rusting is an example of corrosion — an electrochemical process involving an anode (a piece of metal that readily gives up electrons), an electrolyte (a liquid that helps electrons move) and a cathode (a piece of metal that readily accepts electrons). When a piece of metal corrodes, the electrolyte helps provide oxygen to the anode. As oxygen combines with the metal, electrons are liberated. When they flow through the electrolyte to the cathode, the metal of the anode disappears, swept away by the electrical flow or converted into metal cations in a form such as rust.

That’s certainly a mouthful. For those of us who haven’t taken a chemistry course since 11th grade, it can be difficult to wrap our heads around the science of rusting. But worry not! All it really means is that things rust when they come in contact with water and air. This forms a weak carbonic acid, which begins to corrode, rust, or pit the metal.

Another point: Storage containers are designed to be airtight and watertight; they’re traversing oceans, after all. But once the containers reach dry land, this same protective air- and water-tightness can actually lead to rust. How? Poor ventilation leads to condensation, which can cause the steel container to rust. It’s why we recommend ventilating storage containers.

Rust Prevention

So do shipping container homes rust over time? Yes — they can, but only over a long, long time, and the effects can be mitigated by the addition of certain types of paint that forestall the accumulation of rust.

Furthermore, most containers are initially constructed with special alloys that form a surface level of rust that helps prevent deeper corrosion (or the corrosion process itself). These are known by various names: weathering steel, cor-ten steel, or corten steel.

And last but not least, homeowners can prevent shipping container rust via vigilant and regular maintenance to fix problem areas if and when they arise.

Let us know if you have any questions!

How Much Do Container Homes Cost?

The Cost Of A Shipping Container

Securing a shipping container in order to set up a shipping container home probably costs a lot less than you think. However, the price can fluctuate, depending on container size, condition, amenities, customization, and so on. Let’s take a quick look at this topic: How much do container homes cost, anyway?

First off, let’s remember that even though containers are standardized in order for them to function first and foremost as shipping tools, there still remains a great deal of variety in their construction and potential uses. Bottom line: With so much flexibility, the cost of a shipping container can vary, starting as low as a couple of thousand dollars.

There are other things to keep in mind: Customization of shipping containers will increase the price — as will delivery costs; where and when you need it plays a factor in the final price. There are also additional cost factors, such as whether you’re looking to rent or buy a shipping container.

Container Stop

At Container Stop, we have years of experience helping people just like you find the right container for them. We’re pretty certain that lots of people start the process of buying a shipping container and then get a little intimidated by all the options.

But don’t be intimidated by the tremendous amount of variety that’s available to you as a shipping container purchaser. That variety is actually one of the best and most defining features of turning a shipping container into a shipping container home.

We provide new and used containers — not to mention used containers that look and function like new! — throughout California, Nevada, and Arizona. We can also get a container to you anywhere in the United States.

Whatever you’re looking for, Container Stop can secure it for you.

Shipping Container Home Sizes


Most standard shipping container homes are the following lengths:

  • 10 foot
  • 20 foot
  • 40 foot

However, Container Stop can and does craft custom shipping container lengths. Just ask! We’re sure to have what you need on hand. But if not, we’ll create it for you.


Shipping containers are typically 8 feet 6 inches high. However, we also provide high cube shipping containers that add an extra foot to the height.

Standard widths are 8 feet.

But again, these are just starting points.

In other words, we can customize according to the size you need — and your budget! So when it comes to answering the questions “How much do shipping container homes cost?” or “How much will it cost to DIY a shipping container house?”, the answer is almost always going to be: That depends! What do you need?

Let’s get started on answering the question: Please fill out our online request-a-quote form, and we’ll get back to you. Once we figure out the size and budget for the shipping container itself, we can get down the really fun part — deciding how best to customize your shipping container so that it becomes livable. You’ll get to imagine the recycled shipping container home of your dreams: floor plans, square feet of living space, what the living room will look like, and so much more!

And then the adventure really begins — building a shipping container home!

Contact Container Stop today to learn what shipping container homes cost and how you can turn your from a dream into reality — a tiny home that is truly unique and truly yours.

Best Lock For Shipping Containers

What’s the Best Lock for a Shipping Container?

Shipping containers are designed for rugged and lasting protection. After all, they’re constructed to weather — literally! — the rigors of transport across the high seas. They are, for all intents and purposes, waterproof, airtight and impervious to extremes of hot and cold. Still, when it comes to securing the contents of your shipping container, it doesn’t help to have an additional layer of security. Fortunately, this additional layer is easy to come by. What’s the best lock for a shipping container?

There are a variety of locks and securing systems that will protect the contents of your storage container. These may be especially helpful if you decide to convert a shipping container into a shipping container home. In fact, if you do decide to make this transition, there will actually be more reason to add locks, since a shipping container home is likely to have been customized with additional doorways, windows, and skylights, as the case may be.

Locks are also necessary to secure the contents of containers used for storage. For example, as posted by the Paso Robles Daily News, “Agriculture is one of California’s biggest businesses, and there is a demand for shipping containers in Gilroy to help keep ranches and farms functioning smoothly. Secure with lock boxes, or bolt-on locks, the shipping containers are theft-proof.”

So what is the best high-security lock for shipping containers? Let’s examine this question.

Secure Your Stuff!

Securing Your Shipping Container

Please keep in mind that the best lock for you depends on your particular container and your particular needs. Container Stop can help answer any questions you may have about securing your container, so please don’t hesitate to ask about any of the locks or their features listed below. We can also recommend specific brands that we think are the best in the industry.

With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at three different ways to lock your shipping container.


Padlocks are tried-and-true standbys for securing anything with a hinged or slide opening and a loop to attach the lock to. But padlocks are only as secure as the quality of the steel they’re made of. There is a near-infinite variety of padlocks, so be sure to find one which fits your container. Some storage container owners like to go high-tech and attach a digital padlock, but these are susceptible to hackers, so make sure you do your research when considering one of those.


Padlocks don’t always do the trick — at least not on their own; a determined person could bust open your padlocks with any number of tools and a little consistent — albeit noisy — pounding and pressure. Lockboxes, on the other hand, are large steel boxes that are nearly impossible to tamper with. A good, solid lockbox hides your padlock within, making it — and your container — inaccessible. One drawback: Lockboxes can limit the type and size of padlocks to secure your container.


Easy to install, crossbars have the added advantage of preventing the container or storage unit door handles from moving. That means that even if someone were to cut through your padlock, they wouldn’t be able to access the container since the handle is still secure.

Other Security Measure

There are additional security measures you can take, such as the installation of a fence to provide perimeter security. You can also add security cameras and alarm systems. Some of them will even alert you via your smartphone, allowing you to speak to the potential intruder from your phone to a speaker system set up at the container.

Of course, you may consider hiring security guards or acquiring a guard dog, although each of these has its own pros, cons, and legal liabilities that must be considered.

As we mentioned, we’re happy to discuss this issue with you further.

Call Container Stop today. We’re the best in the business, we’re ready to serve, and we look forward to speaking with you.