How to Maintain Your Shipping Container so it Lasts

Posted on:
May 16, 2022

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While shipping containers are strong structures built to last through the harshest weather conditions, they still need regular maintenance to ensure they give you a long life span. Without the proper maintenance, you could be facing replacements and repairs much sooner than you would like.

General Maintenance Tips

Here’s how you can maximize the life of your shipping container.

  1. Put your container on level ground. This way, you can prevent corrosion if water collects underneath or around the container, allowing the doors to more easily open and close like they’re supposed to. It’s wise to set your container on some railroad ties or even concrete blocks so they remain stable and raised off the ground.
  2. Lubricate door hinges. Doors can seize up when they haven’t been used for a while. On a regular basis, apply grease to keep them working smoothly.
  3. Clean dirt and rust. This will extend the container’s lifespan, reducing the chance of rust. Use a cleaning agent or bleach as well as a hose – this should be enough to remove most dirt and surface rust.
  4. Don’t put weight on the roof. While the container’s corners are strong and durable, the middle of the roof is much weaker. Be sure to brush off debris regularly such as dirt, leaves, twigs and snow.
  5. Store only dry goods. To prevent the buildup of condensation, store only dry goods in your container, although most used containers will have vents that encourage airflow and reduce condensation. Refrain from opening the doors when it’s raining or humid. Don’t place furniture or sensitive documents against the walls, which is where condensation forms first.
  6. Replace worn rubber door seals. Rubber seals on doors lock out moisture, but they only last so long (10 years or so). Replace them whenever they start to wear down. Same goes for weather stripping and caulk.

Maintaining Your Shipping Container Roof

Your shipping container’s roof needs its own special brand of TLC. From debris to weather concerns, the roof could cave in or experience damage if you aren’t careful. Here are some tips.

1.     Buy From a Reputable Source

Before buying a shipping container, always research the provider as well as the quality of the unit. If possible, check out the container in person to ensure the condition is to your liking. Your trusted container provider should always hand-pick the containers they sell to ensure 100 percent customer satisfaction. Research the company as well, looking into their experience, years in business, and reviews.

2.     Avoid Putting Weight on the Roof

Your container’s structural integrity will depend heavily on how strong the corner castings are (these are the reinforced corners and not the roof itself). Bowing and flexing can occur if you walk on the roof or store heavy things up there. If you know you will need to access the roof regularly, ask your shipping container manufacturer to reinforce the roof.

3.     Remove Debris, Water, Ice, and Snow

Your container’s roof is resilient, but you should always remove standing water, ice, and snow that can build up. Ignoring these issues, especially ponding water, can result in rust or thinning metal. Always clean off debris after every weather event such as wind storms that can send tree limbs and other debris landing on top of your container roof.

4.     Remove Dirt and Surface Rust

For this, you’ll need a standard hose and broom, as well as commercial wetting agent, bleach, or anti-mildew solution. Scrub at the rust and dirt that is visible on the container’s roof. If you spot any large dents, rusted areas, holes, or scratches, call a repair professional to fix them before they worsen. Once those issues are fixed, you can repaint the container if desired.

5.     Conduct Regular Inspections

Regularly maintaining and caring for your roof means you have to perform regular inspections of its condition. Take photos, jot down notes, and make any necessary repairs as needed. Keep in mind that dents, such as those common on second-hand containers, collect rain water. That moisture accumulation often leads to rust that forms on chipped paint. Repair dents immediately and then treat them with rust-proof paint.

Contact DRYBOX

For more maintenance tips and to get a free quote on a new or used shipping container, contact us toll free at 866-549-9823.



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