A shipping container can make a fun and innovative playhouse for your kids, but before buying one and converting it into a magical space, you need to take a few moments to consider safety elements. Here are some tips and ideas to keep in mind:
1. Consider buying a new shipping container.
If you want a container that is completely safe from chemicals or toxins, you may want to buy a new container. Unfortunately, some shipping containers have pesticides along their floors to keep out pests during shipping, and they may also have paint made to reduce rust that is not ideal for children or adults to be around. If you order a new container, you can ask the manufacturer not to add these protections as they simply aren't necessary for a backyard playhouse.
2. Cover toxins to keep your child safe.
If you decide to buy a used shipping container, that can work as well with the right approach. If possible, use any labeling information on the shipping container to contact its manufacturer. Then, if it has any potentially dangerous paint or flooring, simply cover it.
To cover pesticides on flooring, place a non breathable underlayment on the floor and cover it with the flooring material of your choice. As it's a playhouse, have fun with wild colours or textures. For the walls, cover them with insulation and a layer of gypsum board.
3. Insulate and ventilate
Whether the walls have paint that worries you or not, you may still want to insulate the shipping container. That helps to keep it cooler in the summer so you don't have to worry about your children overheating as they play. Also, consider adding ventilation such as windows or air vents.
4. Look for corten steel to minimise rust.
In most cases, shipping containers are built to withstand rust. They often sit on the deck of a boat, frequently coming into contact with salty splashes from the sea, making rust prevention essential. However, if you want extra assurance against rust, look for a shipping container made from corten steel. By minimising the potential for rust, you protect your kids from the potential dangers.
In most cases, humans can handle a bit of rust, but if it starts to flake off the walls, it can be inhaled, or if you have toddlers who may try to lick the rusty spots, that can lead to health problems as well. Responses to inhaling or ingesting rust include fever, headaches, nausea and others.
5. Remove all locks.
To prevent your children accidentally locking themselves in the playhouse, make sure that you remove all of its locks during the conversion process. This also protects kids from potential bullies in the neighbourhood who may come over and try to lock kids into the container.
Now, that the safety tips are out of the way, you can get to work on the fun stuff, setting up the storage container into a playhouse, picking out cool interior items with your kids and letting them just have a good time. Enjoy.