Anyone who has built a container home knows how tough it can be to anchor a shipping container home down. We’re not talking about hammering in a few lag bolts and calling it a day. This is a HUGE project that involves complicated engineering, a thorough building site assessment, and proper foundation design. But let’s start at the beginning.
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When do I Need to Anchor my Container to the Ground?
A shipping container can resist wind gusts of 180 mph without wavering. This is based on the International Organization for Standardization rigidity test.
However, if you reside in an area where natural catastrophes such as tornadoes or hurricanes occur regularly. It’s not out of the question that your shipping container could be harmed if the storm is severe enough.
If you want to reduce the chance of storms damaging your container there are some simple ways to anchor it.
Ways to Secure a Shipping Container to the Ground
Anchoring in a container home is one of the most critical parts of the building process. When anchoring a shipping container home, the first thing to consider is what type of anchor you want to use. There are several options available, including:
Reinforced Concrete Anchors
A common way to anchor a container home is by use of reinforced concrete. Reinforced concrete anchors are one of the most often used methods of anchoring shipping containers. These anchors are made out of concrete and metal rods, and they are placed into the ground every few feet on each side of where your container will go.
The reinforced concrete anchors go into the ground at an angle so that they can hold onto the concrete slab underneath your container without sliding off when too much pressure is applied against them. These anchors must be placed correctly, so your container does not end up falling over during an earthquake or storm.
Twist Locks to Anchor a Container Home
The most common way to anchor a shipping container home is with twist locks. These are large hexagonal nuts that fit into holes drilled in the corners of the container. The twist lock can be tightened with a wrench or socket wrench until it’s snug against the wood post or concrete foundation you’re anchoring. Twist locks work well because they’re easy to install and remove, allowing you to move your container easily if needed.
Steel chains can anchor a shipping container to the ground but are not as strong as other anchoring systems. Welded steel chains are more potent than welded link chains, and both are stronger than non-welded chain links.
But still do not offer as much pull strength as other methods of anchoring containers, such as steel plates or concrete blocks. Steel chains can be purchased at most hardware stores or online retailers like eBay and Amazon.
Anchoring a Shipping Container Home Using Steel Plate
A steel plate can be welded onto the bottom of your shipping container home. This plate is secured with bolts or nuts and washers that are tightened down using an impact wrench or air ratchet.
This is more expensive than the chain, but it is more durable and much harder to remove without proper tools or equipment.
You can use concrete blocks to secure a single or multiple-container home by placing them at the corners of each container. Concrete blocks have holes that allow you to secure bolts for extra security.
The bolts will go through the holes in the concrete blocks and into holes drilled into the bottom of each container. You can then tighten them down with wrenches, so they don’t come loose over time or from earthquakes.
Bridge Fittings to Anchor a Container Home
Suppose you’re planning on building a multi-unit structure out of shipping containers. In that case, it’s essential to remember that each unit will need its own shipping container foundation.
That’s because each unit will have its weight distribution and center of gravity. So, if you just drive stakes into the ground at random locations around your structure, it won’t last very long at all!
Tiebacks (Tie Down Straps)
Tiebacks are used to anchor a shipping container to the ground. They are typically made from chain or wire rope and then secured with a turnbuckle.
The most common places to use tiebacks include the container corners, where they can be attached directly to the concrete pad below, along the edges of the roof, or on top of the roof, where they can be attached directly to the roof trusses.
Suppose your project has multiple containers stacked together. In that case, it is best practice to anchor all sides at once using as many tiebacks as possible. You should never use one or two tiebacks alone because even if one fails, your entire stack could fall over!
Benefits of Anchoring a Container Home
Anchoring your container home is an important step in the process of building your new home. Here are various benefits you can expect when you anchor a container at home:
1. Shipping Containers are Durable
Containers are made from high-quality steel and have been designed to withstand the elements. This means they will last for 50+ years. This is true even if exposed to extreme weather conditions or other harsh environments. You won’t have any worries about replacing your container any time soon!
2. Your Container Home will Have Waterproofing Protection
Waterproofing is another benefit of anchoring a container home. When you anchor a container home properly, it will be protected from rainwater and other moisture sources that could damage the structure over time.
3. Energy Efficiency for Your Container Home
The insulation provided by a container home that is anchored properly makes them very energy efficient as well. Metal has excellent thermal properties, which means if not properly insulated, it will absorb heat or cold easily. Proper container home foundation helps increase your shipping container home insulation.
As a result, this helps keep the temperature inside your home stable year-round!
4. Lower Price Than Building From Scratch
If you want to build your own home, you must first buy land and pay for permits, among other things. When this is added up, it can easily cost thousands of dollars more than if you were to use an already-constructed home like the ones provided by container houses.
With this option, all that needs to be done is bring in the container and put it on top of the foundation provided by the company that sells them. This makes it much easier than starting from scratch and also helps save money in the long run.
5. Prevents Damage to the Container Home
The most obvious reason for anchoring a container home is to prevent damage to the house itself. Without anchoring, every time there was a strong wind or storm, there was a chance that it could blow over or cause damage to your home. By anchoring, you will reduce this risk significantly and ensure that your home stays intact.
6. Reduces the Risk of Flooding the Container Home
Another benefit of anchoring your container home is that it reduces the risk of flooding. If your property floods often or has experienced past flooding issues, then it may be worth considering this option as well.
If you have already experienced flooding, then you know how much damage it can cause and how much money it will cost you to fix everything after another flood happens again. By anchoring your container home, you can significantly reduce this risk and protect yourself from having to deal with this type of issue again in the future.
7. Stable During Storms and Earthquakes.
When you anchor a container home by attaching it to concrete pillars or another type of foundation material that’s buried underground, you’re creating a robust connection between the house and its new location. This helps keep it stable during storms and earthquakes — two natural disasters that can devastate homes that aren’t appropriately anchored.
In conclusion, even though anchoring a container home isn’t the easiest process, it certainly is possible. All it really requires is doing your research, identifying the best place to anchor it when you move it (ideally with the help of an expert or professional), and the determination to finish the job. Doing so will have all kinds of positive effects on your life, but that’s for another time!