It seems that one of the hot topics when it comes to shipping containers is the flooring. Some say that the floor has been made from exotic hardwood trees that can take up to 60 years of growth to replace whilst others want to ensure that this wood is reused to be environmentally friendly. Others yet say that this wood has been impregnated with insecticide that they no longer want inside their container.
In particular, Australia has one of the strictest regulations when it comes to preventing pests and funguses. This means that a lot of shipping containers have been manufactured in order to adhere to these rules. If the manufacturers don’t make them this way and one goes into Australia it can cause all manner of problems for all involved and they could be heavily fined.
The trouble is, these treated floors can transfer their chemicals to whatever it is that touches them. Believe it or not the insecticide is one of the biggest issues with toxins. However, they can dissipate and weaken their power over the course of a couple of years. So by sealing with epoxy finishes, cleaning and prepping your shipping container floor, you can isolate those chemicals.
The chemicals are really not a lot worse than the lead paint hazards that older houses delivered. If the wood is sealed, then there is virtually no risk as there isn’t any gas emitted.
The best way to check what chemicals have been used on the shipping container floor is to look for the data plate. If it’s still in place on the container, then you should be able to identify what the floor was treated with when it comes to chemicals. However, if the floor has been changed at some point due to damage, you won’t be able to find out what was involved and neither will you if there were chemicals shipped inside the container.
If you are planning on living inside the shipping container, then your best bet is to completely replace the flooring. This is no bad thing as you can even put your insulation in whilst the flooring is up. Be sure to properly dispose of the old flooring. You can purchase sheets of plywood to replace the floor, ensure that you cater for this on your project budget.
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