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About Containers

Insulating a Shipping Container

By February 27th, 2012 About Containers 61 Comments

Insulating a Shipping Container

It is becoming more and more popular as a form of modified storage containers to insulate the interior of a shipping container or storage container.  There are several different ways to go about doing so.  The more commonly used materials for containerized applications are fiberglass, rigid polystyrene foam panels and closed cell spray foam.  There are also some coatings on the market that offer insulating qualities as well.  However, for the purposes of this article, we are going to discuss the three options mentioned.

Fiberglass Insulation –The fiberglass insulation we use is a standard thickness of 3 ½” and will provide an insulating value of R-13.  The sections are cut and fitted inside of a wood framed interior.  We don’t make any penetrations to the exterior of the container when constructing the wood frame.  The fewer penetrations you make to the exterior of the container the better.  The 2” x 4” wood studs are mounted 16” on-center.

The walls of a storage container are corrugated.  There will be gaps between the insulation and the outside corrugation.  Depending on where the storage container is going, you may consider putting a moisture barrier between the container wall and the insulation.

Rigid Polystyrene Foam Panels – The foam panels are available in varying thickness as well as the size of the panels.  The panels also come in varying densities (depending on just how rigid a panel you require).  Your application will dictate the type of panel you utilize.  The foam panels will provide an approximate insulating value of R-5 per inch.  The major benefit of using foam panels over fiberglass is the interior space you can save.  When installing foam panels, they can either be glued directly to the corrugated walls of the shipping container or screwed into flat bar mounted to the container walls.  You don’t need to wood frame the interior of the container as with fiberglass insulation.   Thus saving several inches on the sidewalls and ceiling.  **We recommend the flat bar method as opposed to gluing the panels to the container walls.  Because the storage container walls are corrugated, the panels do not come in constant contact with the walls.  For every section of the panel that spans an outside corrugation, it is not adhered to the container wall.

Closed Cell Spray Foam – In our opinion, closed cell spray foam is the most efficient insulation.  It will offer the highest insulation value (approximately R-6 per inch).  The spray foam completely covers the surface of the corrugated shipping container walls.  There are no gaps between the insulation and the container’s wall (as there are with fiberglass or polystyrene panels).  There is much less risk of condensation or moisture developing with closed cell spray foam.  There is no need to frame out the interior as the spray foam adheres directly to the sidewalls and ceiling of the storage container.  It can be sprayed as thick as necessary to achieve whatever insulating value you require.  The one con to this type of insulation is the cost.  It can be the most cost prohibitive of the three methods.  This is primarily due to what is required (labor and materials) to install a wall covering over the spray foamed walls (should it be necessary).

Any of these methods are a very effective way to insulate the interior of your shipping container or storage container.  Contact us today to discuss your options and figure out which method is right for you.  For more modified storage container ideas visit the storage container modification section of our website.

**We recommend that a wall covering (Hardie Paneling, plywood or plywood with an FRP overlay) is installed over the insulation to finish out the interior.  


Written By:  Ray Gregorio, Container Technology Inc.


  1. Al
    February 28th, 2012

    Would foil and bubble insulation work as well?

  2. admin
    February 29th, 2012

    Hello Al,

    Thanks for your comment. There are many different types of insulation. I’m sure bubble or foil insulation would work as well. The three mentioned in the article are the types of insulation we utilize most often. Ray

  3. Norcliff Wiley
    May 9th, 2012

    Please explain the flat bar method for installing foam panels. What type, size bar? How is it mounted? How many is best?

  4. admin
    May 9th, 2012

    Hello Norcliff,

    We typically use 1/8″ thick x 4″ sections of flat bar and tack weld it to the inside corrugation of the container. The flat bar runs the length of the container walls and ceiling. Each panel comes into contact with a section of flat bar in three places (one near the top, one near the middle and one near the bottom). We use self tapping screws to hold the panels in place. We’ve also used 1″ x 2″ and 2″ x 2″ steel tubing (to act as studs) to mount the panels as well. In this case, the tubing would run between the corrugation from top rail to bottom rail. The tubing is tacked to the top rail and bottom rail. I hope this information is helfpul. Please feel free to contact us should you require any additional information.

  5. david mcdonald
    December 26th, 2012

    With the fiberglass installation, how are the 2×4 wood studs secured/mounted to the container wall/ceiling?

  6. admin
    December 28th, 2012

    Hello David,

    Thanks for finding us online! When framing out the interior, we dont’ make any penetrations to the exterior of the container. We nail the 2×4 studs together (16″ on center) and they hold each other in place. It’s very easy to do. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly. My email is Happy Holiday’s!

  7. September 4th, 2013

    This is very helpful. You see, I’m planning to buy a used shipping container from so I can use it as a mobile office. The heat that is absorbed and radiated from the steel structure needs to be alleviated. Can asbestos be a good insulator? It’s the only material available in the hardware store in my community. Thanks.

  8. admin
    September 5th, 2013

    Thank you for your interest in our website. Containers make great mobile offices. Unfortunately we do not use asbestos when insulating a container. We only utilize the type of insulation that you viewed on our site. I do not have any experience with that type of material. You may try reaching out to the ISBU. They may have some more information and can better assist you. –

  9. iDesign2Build
    November 10th, 2013

    Hi, I am designing a home with 7 high cube 40″ containers. I want to insulate the external walls panels from the outside and save room for internal space. On the external I am thinking of using a sandwich wall composed by: bubble wrap insulation, horizontal timber stub of 40-50mm to fix the bubble wrap to the container wall panel, then another lay of bubble wrap then FC sheeting. What do you think?

  10. admin
    November 14th, 2013

    Hello. Thanks for your comment! There are many different ways to insulate a container. You’ve described a method that we did not cover in this article. To be honest, we don’t have any experience with this type of method. We’ve not used this type of insulation for our customers. However, that certainly does not mean it won’t be affective for you. There are many factors to consider when insulating any structure. The size of the structure, what the structure is comprised of, the climate in which the structure is located, the HVAC system in the structure, heat transfer, moisture and some other factors should be considered. As long your insulation is installed properly (no matter the type) and it is suitable for your environment/structure…I would think you should be okay. I’m sorry I can’t speak in more detail about the method you’ve described and hope this information is helpful. Ray

  11. PTS
    April 7th, 2014

    I am in the R&D phase of using a shipping container for an single office. I have narrowed down my insulation search to most likely spray foam. What kind of wall covering do you recommend that’s eco-friendly? Have you any experience with Magnesium Oxide panels?

  12. admin
    April 15th, 2014

    Thanks for the comment! We have not used Magnesium Oxide panels. We primarily use a Hardie Paneling/Siding. It’s typically utilized for exterior applications. However, we’ve found it to be a very versatile product and works very well for shipping container applications. Here is a link to Hardie’s website – If you are located in the US, you can purchase the panels at Home Depot – I hope this information is helpful.

  13. June 4th, 2014

    The Photo of your closed cell foam application seems to use horizontal “studs” as opposed to a standard stud wall. Are these tack welded in place? Are you using a corten metal product for them? My plan is to use a 2X1 5/8 stud wall (since it has no structural support requirement) but am wondering if your technique would be a better option.

  14. admin
    June 5th, 2014

    Hello Laura,
    Thanks for your comment. The horizontal studs for that project were requested by our customer. They wanted to be able to have mounting points for electrical components. They requested that we run 2 x 2 steel tubing along the interior. The studs were tack welded at every point where the studs came in contact with the inside corrugation of the steel panels. By using the tubing (as opposed to a traditional wood framed interior) it also allowed them to save quite a bit of space. They needed as much room as possible on the interior for all of their equipment. The studs didn’t offer any additional structural support however. If you don’t have any space restrictions, I definitely recommend going with a standard wood studded interior. It’s much more cost effective than the steel tubing. Hope this information is helpful. Thanks, Ray

  15. Tyson
    July 20th, 2014

    Hey i was just wonder how long does this foam have to be left for, does it have to be left to set or an you keep working on the area straight after it has been done. i have to find something that i can use for a graphics assignment and i don’t wont to decrease the living space for my house design.

  16. admin
    July 21st, 2014

    Thanks for the comment. We typically use a closed cell spray foam product. It pretty much dries/sets immediately. You can start working on/over the covered area right away. Hope this helps! Ray

  17. August 10th, 2014

    I’m researching the use of a vapor barrier in a shipping container home in Upstate NY with very cold winters. My plan at this point is to stud out the interior of a container and use spray foam insulation. I’ve read that the closed cell spray foam acts as its own vapor barrier. In your experience do you think I would need an additional barrier? If I wanted an additional ‘insurance policy’ against the migration of moisture, where would you recommend installing it? Between the metal wall and studs? Or between the studs and drywall? Thank you.

  18. admin
    August 11th, 2014

    Hello, Thanks for the inquiry. Closed cell spray foam is a great choice for insulating a container. We are in the Southeast and utilize closed cell spray foam fairly frequently. When doing so, we do not install a vapor barrier. The reason is because the foam comes in contact (if sprayed properly) with 100% of the interior walls of the container. There are no gaps between the insulation and the containers walls (as with traditional fiberglass insulation). Obviously we don’t have the same extreme cold temperatures that you do in the Northeast. So, I’m a bit hesitant to give you a recommendation as I’m not familiar with this type of application in the Northeast. I would think you’d be okay just spraying the foam directly to the container walls without a vapor barrier. However, it certainly couldn’t hurt adding the vapor barrier between the container walls and the foam (similar to what would be done in a basement). I would definitely consult with a local builder or the company applying the spray foam for you. I hope this information is helpful.

  19. September 2nd, 2014

    We have a container that we would like to store our house contents, furniture and cloths for 12months The container is subjected to very hot and cold weather conditions..
    which insulation should we use to avoid mould etc.
    Many thanks John,

  20. admin
    September 4th, 2014

    Hello Andrea,
    Thanks for the comment. The best insulation is closed cell spray foam. However, it’s also the most expensive. As an alternative, you could use standard fiberglass insulation as well. It really depends on how much you want to spend and just how much of an R-value you want to achieve. You typically get approximately an R-6 per inch of closed cell spray foam (ie. 3 inches of closed cell foam would give you an approximate R-18 insulation value). Standard fiberglass insulation (3.5″ thick) would give you an R-13 insulation value. Whichever way you decide to insulate your container, I would definitely recommend installing a small window HVAC unit. Being able to regulate/control interior temperature will be imperative in avoiding mould. If you insulate the container without controlling the interior environment, there is no guarantee you’ll be able to avoid mould issues. I hope this information helps.

  21. Arnie
    September 5th, 2014

    When using the closed cell spray foam what prep work is required for the surface inside? My container has some rust and peeling paint. Also is there a spray foam product that I can purchase from some place and rent the application equipment to do the work myself?

  22. admin
    September 5th, 2014

    Hello Arnie,
    Thanks for the questions. Since your container has areas of rust/peeling paint, I would definitely recommend prepping (grinding/wire brushing and cleaning away any dirt/debris) those areas before applying the foam. There are some spray foam kits out there, however most of them (too my knowledge) aren’t made to handle an application of this magnitude. I’m also not sure you can rent that type of equipment. Most of what I’ve seen would have to be purchased. The equipment we use is high yield and is made for large scale applications. Applying spray foam (if never done before) can be a very challenging skill to learn on the fly. If you’ve never done it before, you may consider contracting a local company that has the right equipment and the experience to handle a this type of application. I hope this information is helpful. If you decide to tackle the project on your own, let me know how you make out. Ray

  23. Dale
    October 22nd, 2014

    Hi guys, I live in Australia and was wondering where would I purchase this closed cell spray foam, and or a company that does this kind of work. Many thanks Dale

  24. admin
    October 23rd, 2014

    Hello Dale, Thanks for the inquiry. Unfortunately we are located in Atlanta, GA. I don’t know of anyone that I can refer you to in Australia. If you can’t find someone in your area, you may be able to handle your project with a spray foam kit and do it yourself. You may consider checking out Tiger Foam. Here is a link to their website – Hope this information is helpful!

  25. Curt
    December 31st, 2014

    Hello everyone,
    I think it’s important to realize that recent updates to the International Residential Code and the International Energy Conservation Code require some amount of continuous insulation (ci) layer outside of any framing cavity. Closed-cell SPF is a good way to satisfy this, but most interpretations of the code won’t allow z-girts or any other type of continuous framing within the foam to support siding materials, primarily because they present a continuous thermal bridge from interior to exterior. For shipping containers, this can pose a challenge: how to support heavy siding materials like concrete-fiber panels (Hardie Board) without the use of continuous supports? I haven’t yet found a solution, but I’d be curious to know if others have.

  26. admin
    January 6th, 2015

    Hello Curt,
    Thanks for the comments. You bring up some very interesting points. When insulating a container, we typically use wood or metal studs (depending on the customer’s specs). As you point out, using either of these materials for continuous support, will create a thermal bridge from interior to exterior. The majority of our customers are located in the Southeast US; so this is typically not an issue. Unfortunately I don’t have any good information to provide you when it comes to solving this problem. I’m sorry if I’ve not been much help.

  27. Paul
    January 5th, 2015


    I am located in Canada and have very cold winters. If I were to buy a reefer container, does that give you enough R value so that you don’t have to add further insulation?

  28. admin
    January 6th, 2015

    Hello Paul,
    Thanks for the question. A reefer container is able to withstand the harshest of climates/conditions. However, you should always take usage, the condition of the unit, and the environment into consideration. If you are going to be using a reefer that is in working condition, the refrigeration machine (set at a specific temp) coupled with the factory insulation, should be able to maintain the interior air temp that you desire. However, if you are planning on utilizing a reefer container that is in non-working condition (just as an insulated container); it’s difficult to say whether or not it will maintain your desired interior temp. Since the machine won’t be running (and you will just be relying on the container’s insulation to control the climate), you may need to install some additional insulation or an aftermarket HVAC to achieve your desired interior temp. I hope this information is helpful.

  29. J-D
    January 12th, 2015

    Hey Admin,

    My wife and I will be in the beginning stages of building out our container, beginning with the insulation.

    When we frame it out, should we place the studs in the corrugated (concave) portion of the container, or should we place the studs on the convex portion of the corrugated container wall? One we frame out the container, how do we attach the insulation to the wood studs? Thank you for your help.

  30. admin
    January 16th, 2015

    Hello JD,
    Thanks for the question. You would frame out the interior of a container just like you would a house. Run the studs along the walls 16” OC. You do not need to attach the studs to the container walls. By tying the studs for the walls and the ceiling together, they will be wedged into a fixed position. You can use standard 3 ½” batt insulation and staple right to the studs. I hope this information is helpful and wish you luck in your build out. Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Ray

  31. December 22nd, 2015

    Thanks for the article.
    Would be very grateful to you for a piece of advice. I’m planning to put some containerhomes at the beach side. Regarding rather high temperatures and heating of the container itself which inner insulation would you advice – fiberglass or foam? Minding that container will be used only during the summertime and i’m not quiet worried about the warm losses during wintertime. The foam is about twice more expensive, but is it worth? Thank you in advance.

  32. admin
    December 23rd, 2015

    Thanks for the inquiry. In my opinion, foam insulation is always the best option when insulating containers. In particular the closed cell foam. It provides the best surface coverage and has a higher R-value (insulation factor) than traditional fiberglass insulation. However, as you have mentioned, it can be quite costly. If you’re budget will allow for the closed cell foam, that is what I would recommend. I hope this information is helpful.

  33. Ben
    January 13th, 2016

    Hi Ray,
    An excellent article–very helpful. I’m working on a project that involves finishing the interior of a 20′ container. I would agree that the spray foam is probably the best insulation option for a lot of applications, but it can be time consuming and messy to install. We’re investigating the other options and I wanted to ask about vapor barriers. If using the rigid foam panels or fiberglass insulation, do you also install any type of vapor barrier? Our project will likely end up in a hot and humid environment, but could end up anywhere in theory. Thanks!

  34. admin
    January 14th, 2016

    Hello Ben,
    Thanks for the comments and question. It’s a question that comes up quite often when finishing/insulating a shipping container. I’ve heard arguments that would support both sides of the debate…whether or not to install a vapor barrier. We do not install a vapor barrier when using the rigid panels or fiberglass insulation. In our experience, the lack of a vapor barrier has not resulted in any issues. However, all applications are different and in some instances, a vapor barrier could be beneficial. It certainly can’t hurt. I’m sorry if this is a bit vague. I can only speak about our experience with container conversions. I hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Ray

  35. Shahnaz
    June 22nd, 2016

    Hi there,

    I am planning on converting a shipping container into a home office and a room to have a spare to and sofa etc.

    My budget does not allow to spend on spray foam so I am going with foil faced insulation panels. Please can you tell me the right order in which to layer the items.
    I will build a wood frame inside but do I leave a gap between the wood battens and the container wall or set them right against the container wall? If so do I set them in the concave or convex parts of the corrugation? Secondly, do I then attach the panels over the top of the wood battens or in between them?
    Finally I will use a vapour barrier sheet just for extra protection but could you tell me where I place this, before attaching the panels to the wood or on top of the panels before the plasterboard?
    I just can’t seem to find the right answer anywhere about how to actually place the items in the right way.
    Your help is much a appreciated?

  36. Ray
    July 12th, 2016

    Thank you for your inquiry. We are certainly not the foremost expert on insulating a shipping container and there are many factors to consider when doing so. However, we have had success with some very simple practices when using standard fiberglass/batt insulation. When we build the wood frame on the interior, the studs are mounted every 16″ OC (on center). When doing so, the studs will line up with the inward corrugation of the container walls. If you choose to utilize a vapor barrier, it would be installed directly on the the container walls (behind the wood frame). The fiberglass/batt insulation would be fashioned between the studs (over the vapor barrier) and then the wall covering/panels would go over top of that (laying on top of and tied into the studs). Obviously, there are some variations to this process (depending on the thickness of the insulation, frequency of the studs, etc.). However, I hope you find this information helpful. Thanks, Ray

  37. Ray
    July 12th, 2016

    Thank you for your inquiry. We are certainly not the foremost expert on insulating a shipping container and there are many factors to consider when doing so. However, we have had success with some very simple practices when using standard fiberglass/batt insulation. When we build the wood frame on the interior, the studs are mounted every 16″ OC (on center). When doing so, the studs will line up with the inward corrugation of the container walls. If you choose to utilize a vapor barrier, it would be installed directly on the the container walls (behind the wood frame). The fiberglass/batt insulation would be fashioned between the studs (over the vapor barrier) and then the wall covering/panels would go over top of that (laying on top of and tied into the studs). Obviously, there are some variations to this process (depending on the thickness of the insulation, frequency of the studs, etc.). However, I hope you find this information helpful. Thanks, Ray

  38. August 5th, 2016

    planning on using closed cell spray insulation about 1 1/2” thick on sidewalls and 2” in ceiling. i am going to use standard studs on the outside walls and was going to place an r13 in the walls and a r19 in ceiling as additional insulation. will this be ok? thanks jimmy

  39. Ray
    August 25th, 2016

    Hello Jimmy,
    Thanks for your interest in Container Technology. I’ve not heard of anyone insulating a container in this manner before (using closed cell foam and fiberglass insulation together). I’m not really sure how to answer your question. It definitely sounds like your container will be well insulated though. I’m guessing that it will work. However, since we’ve not done anything like this before, I really don’t want to give you bad information. Sorry I’m not more help. Ray

  40. Vikram Kadam
    October 25th, 2016

    Good morning Ray!!!
    I want to insulate20′ container .I want to make a small food factory inside this container where i can make the Roti/Chapati (Indian bread) the capacity of my plant will 800 roti/hour.
    So according to you considering food kitchen what kind of insulation should I use??

  41. Ray
    October 25th, 2016

    Thank you for your interest in our site! Your question regarding the insulation is an interesting one. If you are able to utilize closed cell spray foam, that is always going to be the best choice. It has the highest insulating properties. This allows you to use less of the spray foam, which saves room on the interior. However, it is also the most expensive of the different types of insulation. If you have enough room in your budget, I would recommend the spray foam. I hope this information is helpful. Ray

  42. December 1st, 2016

    Hi Ray
    I am in South Texas currently building a container home with 2x 20ft single use Open siders

    with regard to the studs- i am with you at #16″OC but i have been told that the wood should avoid touching the sides of the container by about 1/4 inch to avoid a thermal or vapour bridge caused by the different rates of expansion in our fierce Texas heat.
    If the wood is touching it will lead to condensation forming even if the spray foam is used?
    We wish to avoid this and will be using Plywood as the wall covering as it is way nicer to look at and then we can glue and screw our internals onto it without the need for large ugly brackets. If people are in a hot Humid area a HVAC is a must but if not a 70 ltr dehumidifier is recommended. Also the correct venting is a must. I bought new containers and am resisting the temptation to cut big holes in them! Your point about cost vs efficiency is well made as you will pay for it down the line with increased energy costs and this may defeat the object?

    Also Ray – we are putting a seperate roof over the container – have you any experience of how much (temp wise) this helps in a hot climate? (i don’t know where you are?)
    Take a look at what we are doing – would love your thoughts – thanks

  43. Ray
    December 1st, 2016

    Hello Andy,
    You’re the sand castle guy! I remember you. Hope all is well. We actually spoke a few months back. You sent me some photos of your project as well. I put you in touch with Mike Hudson in our office. He is our ops manager. Mike mentioned that you guys discussed some of these concerns. Sounds like he was able to answer some of your questions. However, if you have any additional questions, please feel free to give us a call. We can be reached at (770) 960-6210. Ray

  44. Joe
    February 25th, 2017


    For closed cell spay foam, it is better from inside or ouside?
    Thank you.

  45. Ray
    March 10th, 2017

    Hello Joel, Thanks for your question. We recommend that the foam is applied on the interior. You don’t want to spray the foam on the exterior, as it will be exposed to the elements. However, if the container is not going to be exposed to the elements (inside of a warehouse or under some sort of cover), you can apply the foam to the exterior. If you prefer to coat the exterior of the container (and it will be exposed to the elements), you could always wall-in around the foam so that it’s protected. I hope this information is helpful.

  46. NaomiK
    May 24th, 2017

    Dear Ray,

    This is very helpful. We are doing a container house and we are cladding the exterior and interior with wood on 2×2 battens. Do we need to insulate? The top of the containers have a pitched roof

  47. Ray
    June 2nd, 2017

    Naomi, Thanks for your comments and question. I would definitely recommend insulating the structure. There are several different options available regarding the type of insulation you use and the thickness. I would consult with your builder/architect for the most suitable application for your area. Thanks, Ray

  48. Savannah
    November 13th, 2017

    Hi. We are building a shipping container home in California mountains where it’s both cold and hot. We are planning on using fiberglass insulation. I want to use a foil type of barrier for thermal properties. I was thinking to apply it on top of insulation and then cover with wall panel. Am I on the right track or should it be applied right on the metal wall and then followed with insulation and wall panel?

  49. Ray
    November 13th, 2017

    Hello Savannah,
    Thanks for the comments and question. If you plan on using a thermal barrier, it is typically installed between the wall of the container and the insulation. However, I would consult with your builder/architect to be sure. Hope this information helps and good luck with your container project! Thanks, Ray

  50. Corey Callahan
    December 2nd, 2017

    Hi, Ive recently began building a large container building to use as a garage on my property. I was luck enough to fine some that were already spray foamed. What I’m wondering is how to cut openings for doors and windows into them since the foam is flammable. Any preferred method to this. Sawsall vs grinder…etc?

  51. Ray
    December 5th, 2017

    Hey Corey,
    Thanks for finding us. Our guys like to use a grinder with a cutting disc, when cutting openings in an insulated unit. Sounds like you were going down that road anyway, so you should be all set. Hope your project turns out great! Thanks, Ray

  52. Darrell
    February 2nd, 2018

    I am considering combining 3-8’x40′ containers , and have researched closed cell spray foam and batting. I was wondering, if you feel, it would be a good idea to, DIY spray foam, the interior walls, 1″ to 1 1/2″ thick, and install batting to fill the rest of the cavity of a 2×4 wall? Then applying my finish wall covering. Later, on the outside, radiant foil applied the the walls,2×4 framing mounted, foam board between the studs and installing half log siding to the exterior. I am in south Alabama and the humidity is dreadful, which is why I wanted the vapor barrier against the interior walls. Is this overkill or very well preparded? Thanks, D.

  53. Ray
    February 9th, 2018

    Hi Darrell,
    Thanks for finding us and for the questions. Looks like you’ve put some time into your plan to customize the containers. The spray foam is the best insulation you can use. If you have experience with this type of application, then you may be okay DIY. However, if you have never applied the spray foam before, you may consider having an experienced contractor (with the proper equipment) apply the foam for you. The additional bat and foam board is a bit excessive (in my opinion). If it were me, I’d spray the foam on a bit thicker (maybe 3″) in conjunction with your vapor barrier. The foam will come in contact with the entire surface to which it’s applied. However, your concern about the humidity is a valid one. If you are unsure, I would recommend consulting with a local builder in your area. It’s always a good idea to consult with someone local, as they have experience building in the area and can offer suggestions/tips on what to do/avoid. I hope this helps. Thanks!

  54. Samer
    October 7th, 2018

    Hi all,
    I would like to seek your thoughts on how would you go about evaluating the benefits if exterior walls of reefer container were painted with heat-shield paint which has high far and high near infrared reflectivity of around 90%.
    The idea is to reduce energy consumption and reduce wall thickness.
    Any thoughts?
    Thank you

  55. Ray
    October 9th, 2018

    Hello Samer,
    Thanks for finding us and for the question. I wish I could assist you with this information. Unfortunately, we do not have any experience with the type of coating you are referencing. I wouldn’t be able to provide you with any details regarding the benefits. I’m sorry that we are not able to assist you with your inquiry.

  56. Marta
    December 7th, 2018

    Hi Ray,

    Very nice article. I have a shipping container that I want to insulate with rigid foam panels, they fit pretty snugglely as it is, but I wanted to glue them on to the walls, as you said, but I am unsure of the type of glue I should use.

    In case it makes any difference, my panels are white foam wrapped by tin foil on the sides.

    Thanks a million,

  57. Ray
    December 10th, 2018

    Hi Marta, Thanks for finding us and for the question. While gluing the panels is an option, we recommend using the flat bar method (as described in this article “Insulating a Shipping Container” – ). However, if you prefer to glue the panels, we recommend using an industrial adhesive. Here’s a link to a website for an adhesive – This is just one type of glue. There are many other types of adhesives on the market that may work for you. I hope this information is helpful. Thanks, Ray

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    April 10th, 2020

    Good afternoon, I was just visiting your site and filled out your feedback form. The feedback page on your site sends you messages like this to your email account which is the reason you are reading my message right now right? This is the holy grail with any kind of online ad, making people actually READ your message and that’s exactly what I just accomplished with you! If you have something you would like to promote to tons of websites via their contact forms in the U.S. or anywhere in the world let me know, I can even target specific niches and my pricing is super reasonable. Shoot me an email here:

  60. Joe
    July 29th, 2020

    Thanks for the great article
    Insulated a 40 ft container . Walls with 1-1/4″ rigid foam panels. Ceiling with 1-1/2. The floor has no insulation. I’m in the desert and trying to size an ac unit for it. It’s typically 105-115 here.
    The container gets full sun.
    I’ve tried one portable ac and it could not keep up. Portables provide remarkably poor cooling but it was available and easy so I gave it a shot.
    What size mini split or window ac would you recommend?

  61. Meagan
    August 1st, 2020


    My question is regarding how to affix the sheathing to the spray foam interior. Do I need to put in studs before and have spray foam between the studs or is there another way. I’m planning on frp type panel

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