Shipping containers are versatile, durable structures, that serve as storage units, tiny homes, offices, and much more. A shipping container is designed to withstand harsh weather, strong winds, and unpredictable waves when traveling overseas. However, severe weather events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and strong windstorms, can deteriorate the container’s durability and stability. To safeguard your container, keep reading to learn how to secure your shipping container and mitigate the risks posed by extreme weather conditions.
1. Site Selection & Preparation
Choose a slightly elevated area to prevent flooding, water accumulation, and soil erosion around the container. Proper drainage will reduce the risk of water damage and flooding inside the container, destroying your stored items and living space.
Avoid placing the shipping container near trees, power lines, or structures that could collapse during severe weather. Falling debris causes damage, such as scrapes, dents, and dings, ruining the container's structural integrity.
Choose a slightly elevated area to prevent flooding, water accumulation, and soil erosion around the container.
2. Foundation Construction
Creating a solid foundation ensures your container will remain stable. The foundation should evenly distribute the weight of the container and provide a stable platform. A 20-foot shipping container weighs around 5,000 pounds empty, and a 40-foot shipping container weighs around 9,000 pounds empty. Ensure the foundation can hold more pounds than the container’s total weight—the shipping container itself and the belongings inside.
Some foundation options are gravel pads, concrete footings, and helical piers. Gravel pads are a less permanent solution, offering a level surface to help with water drainage. However, they might not be as effective in areas prone to flooding. Concrete footings are designed to handle the weight of the container and the forces of severe weather due to their durability and stability. Helical piers are suitable for softer soils and provide excellent stability against uplift forces.
The foundation should evenly distribute the weight of the container and provide a stable platform.
Choosing the best anchoring system for your container is one of the most important steps in ensuring your container will remain intact during a severe weather storm. Here are some common anchoring methods:
Concrete Anchors: Typically used with concrete footing, concrete anchors offer strong support but may require professional installation.
Deadman Anchors or Earth Plates: These anchors are large metal plates buried in the ground and connected to the container with cables. They distribute forces over a wider area, reducing the risk of a container moving or sliding.
Screw Anchors: These are twisted into the ground and provide superb stability, especially in softer soils.
Auger Anchors: Twist these anchors into the ground at each corner of the shipping container. They work well in moderate wind conditions and provide consistent support.
4. Secure Container
After choosing an anchoring system, secure your shipping container using sturdy attachment methods. Welding or bolting the container to the anchor points provides a strong connection. However, if that is not feasible, use heavy-duty cables or straps to tie the container down securely.
Welding or bolting the container to the anchor points provides a strong connection.
5. Maintenance & Inspection
Regular maintenance and inspection are vital to ensure the anchors and foundation remain in excellent condition. Check for signs of rust, corrosion, or damage to the anchors, and make repairs if needed. By maintaining and inspecting your container, your container will be ready for an unexpected extreme weather event.
Severe weather events can wreak havoc on your shipping container’s structural integrity, durability, and stability, deteriorating the stored items and your living space. With strategic planning and implementation, you can significantly reduce the risks, increase the container's longevity, and ensure your container's top-notch condition after a severe weather storm.
Contact us with questions about how to anchor your shipping container. We are here to help you with your concerns and questions!