What to Know About Shipping Container Vents

What to Know About Shipping Container Vents

Transocean Equipment Management explain what to know about shipping container vents. Contact us today to learn more.

Shipping containers may look like big metal boxes, but they are much more than that. Not only are they built to withstand the turbulence of the open seas, they can also handle all types of harsh weather, from wind to heat. Built to be airtight, shipping containers – as you can imagine – lack ventilation.

That’s why it’s important to ensure your unit features the right ventilation. If you don’t, you may have to contend with mold, rust, odors, pests and diseases.

Why Do Shipping Containers Need Ventilation?

Although most shipping containers have an opening small enough for getting fresh air for breathing, it’s really not meant to be functional ventilation. If water gets inside, it can’t get out. That’s the main reason why sufficient ventilation is critical, particularly when storing humidity- or moisture-sensitive items or in places where the climate changes drastically.

If you have high humidity levels, place a dehumidifier inside the shipping container.

Issues Due to Poor Ventilation

Without an adequate ventilation system, a shipping container could overheat, damaging moisture-sensitive goods. While, as we said above, most containers have built-in holes, they’re simply not big enough for most uses, especially if you will be spending any considerable amount of time in the unit.

The ventilation system you install should feature plenty of intake vents, louver vents, and even a window or two.

Here is a look at some instances where ventilation could become problematic, especially where temperature changes are concerned.

  • Explosion/fire: When temperatures rise, fires or explosions can occur.
  • Health risks like air poisoning and human diseases: When the unit contains toxic or hazardous chemicals such as thinners and paints, the ventilation can lead to air poisoning or fumes. This puts hardware, goods, and people at risk. Reducing temperatures may help some, but installing an air conditioning system would be even better. Many conditions can arise due to improper ventilation, such as dry eyes, nausea, asthma, respiratory diseases, and even pneumonia.
  • Moisture damages goods: Plants, food, and other perishables can fall victim to mold and mildew growth due to condensation. Rust can damage your electronics, too.
  • Steel containers can rust: Humidity causes a condensation buildup that results in rust, which can be expensive and time-consuming to fix. In addition, poor ventilation can cause musty, unpleasant odors.

FAQs: Container Vents

Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself when considering shipping container ventilation.

Q: Should you get a roof vent or a side vent?

A: If you plan to use the container as a livable space, a good ventilation system is critical. Integrate both roof vents and side vents. If you can, you want to place two vents on opposite sides of the unit – one high and one low. Of course, you will need side walls in order to install side vents.

Roof vents – AKA whirly bird or turbine vents – are installed on the roof.

Q: What is the importance of a roof vent?

A: For some people, the one pre-installed vent already in the container may suffice for their purposes. These vents usually have a triple-layered screen that blocks insects from getting in. If you live in a low-humidity climate, you may not need any intake vents.

But if you’re wondering how many vents you would need, the answer would depend on your intended purposes, usage requirements, climate, type of container and size of container. You can’t go wrong adding additional shipping container vents in any case.

Q: Should I hire a professional to install the shipping container vents or do it myself?

It’s always best to hire a pro to do it, as they come equipped with the right supplies and tools, plus they have the training and experience to get the job done right the first time. If you tackle it as a DIY job, you could damage the shipping container and end up spending money anyway to fix it.

We hope these FAQs have been helpful in learning more about shipping container ventilation.

Contact Transocean Equipment Management

Please call us today at (910) 483-7828 if you are interested in a free price quote on one of our many sizes of shipping containers. With offices in North Carolina and South Carolina, we can also connect you with modifications and add-ons such as ventilation systems.

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