How Long Do Shipping Containers Last?

Posted on:
Jun 28, 2022

When in the market for a shipping container, no matter what the purpose, your first thought may be: how long do they last? It’s a great question to ask because it will give you a good idea of the scope of your investment. After all, they are an investment.

Shipping containers give you a water-tight, reliable method of storage throughout their lifespan, and if you’re lucky, your container could last up to 30 years or more, depending on the level of care you give them. The better you maintain your container, the longer it will last. This includes things like cleaning it, patching holes, making repairs quickly, painting it, addressing rust spots and more.

Prolonging the Life of Your Storage Container

Like with any other type of significant investment, you understandably want to get the most life out of your shipping container as possible. Luckily, there are some things you can do that will help you with that mission, giving your initial investment an even greater return.

Check out these tips on how to get more life out of your storage containers:

  • Lubricate parts regularly: When moving parts and joints are well lubricated, they work better and won’t stick. Be sure to lubricate all locks, hinges, latches and gaskets regularly.
  • Apply a coat of paint: To discourage the formation of rust, put a liberal coat of paint on your storage container. Touch it up when necessary. You don’t want rust to start spreading, as it can damage your container and cause holes that will only get worse. Specifically, be sure to use waterborne direct-to-metal (DTM) coatings, which are free of harmful chemicals, says EngineerInc.
  • Clean the container after buying: If the container had signs of rust when you bought it, always clean it thoroughly before painting. Always use rust-prevention paint, especially when the container will be sitting in direct sun or rainy conditions.
  • Add plenty of ventilation: Moisture can build up inside the unit if you don’t have proper ventilation. You need good air flow if you want the interior of your container to remain moisture free. This is even more important if you plan to work in the container, operate a business or live in there.
  • Remove debris from the roof: Heavy debris that is allowed to sit on the roof for long periods of time can damage it. This accumulation of debris will trap moisture on the roof, resulting in leaking and rotting. Maintain the integrity of your roof and keep debris like leaves, twigs and branches off it.
  • Add a new roof: If you plan to live or work in your container, you may want to add a new, reinforced roof. Did you know the right roof can extend the life of your container by more than 90 percent? A strong roof will provide the rain and sun protection your shipping container needs and give you the adequate insulation you need. Make sure the new roof has enough pitch for proper rainwater drainage.
  • Keep your container elevated: Yes, shipping containers are durable and are designed to be outside and take the brunt of Mother Nature, but it’s still a good idea to mount them on concrete blocks. When containers sit directly on the ground for long periods of time, this traps moisture against the flooring, resulting in rot.

While shipping containers are large steel contraptions that look like, at least on the surface, that they are not vulnerable to anything. But any structure left outside for too long with not enough care – including the most robust steel manufactured objects — can slowly experience damage after being exposed to the elements.

Fortunately, a little bit of TLC, maintenance and prevention will go a long way to ensuring your container lasts longer than the 30-year benchmark. So to answer the initial question: how long do shipping containers last – well, it really all depends on the care you give them!

Contact DRYBOX

Whether you want to buy or rent a shipping container or office unit, we can help you choose the right unit for your needs. Our team can also give you some helpful tips on how to prolong the life of your container. Call us toll free at 866-549-9823 for a free quote today. You will be glad to know we offer a wide variety of shipping container sizes available for rent or purchase.



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