Shipping containers were specially designed from corrugated steel to withstand the harsh and corrosive elements of rain, saltwater, and other pollutants. They are still susceptible to physical damage.
With so much human interaction running ports and cargo ships around the globe, accidents will always happen. The unloading and loading process can chip away at your paint coating – the first line of defense against rust.
So once this coating is gone, and water and other elements start getting in – you’re going to see rust. It will start working its way in, eroding all of the metal in your shipping container.
Preventative Maintenance for Shipping Containers
Now, if you only use your shipping container for medium to long-term storage, you don’t have to be so on top of things. But if you use a shipping container as your home, garage, or workshop, you must keep your container well maintained to keep yourself and your container as safe as possible.
As soon as rust has started to form, the lifespan of your container is on the clock. Once it’s begun to develop, it gets exponentially harder to deal with as time passes. We want to help you learn all of the tricks and tips that you need to keep your containers rust-free. That’s not to say something wild won’t happen. Any container COULD see rust develop in the right conditions. But you can do a lot to prevent it from ever becoming an issue.
Preventing Shipping Container Rust
Have the container inspected monthly: Regular inspections are just part of keeping your shipping container in the best condition that you can. You want to be able to spot minor issues early on before they have the chance to become extremely expensive or even a danger to you. At the very least, you need to check the roof, walls, flooring, and foundation every month to ensure no rust forming or water pooling.
Think of your container as an investment: It’s easy for a Conex container to become nothing more to you than your storage unit on your property. And that’s fine if that is what best fits your needs. But if you want your container to stay safe and last for a long time to come, maintenance and needed repairs need to be done on the roof, doors, floors, hinges, and every other part of the container! Yes, even the hinges do matter. Do you want to open your Conex container doors easily?
Avoid Contacting the Water Frequently: The number one cause of rust on a shipping container is far and away from pooling or stagnant water sitting around the foundation of or on the roof of your container. If you live in an area with poor ground drainage, you may consider getting a raised platform for your shipping container. It will keep it far away from all water and ensure accessing the contents is always a breeze. If you live in a cold area, remove snow and ice as soon as possible. These will melt sometime and leave pools of disgusting water.
Don’t forget ventilation inside the container: Condensation could be your worst enemy if you own a shipping container. So, what makes storage containers so great for long-term storage is that they are entirely wind-tight and water-tight. Be aware of the temperature in your container – if anything inside it causes condensation, it will all sit in there!
Repair Rust or Damage Without Haste: The faster you can notice and get damage to your shipping container repaired, the quicker you can have it repaired and the less chance of long-term damage you will have. Most rust spots can be treated easily by grinding to the bare metal then re-painting over it with a strong primer.
A Foundation Could be a Game-Changer: Even if you have excellent drainage on your property, you may want to consider building a foundation for your shipping container. A solid foundation will just keep it from sinking or settling at all and the perfect height. If you load or unload frequently, it’s essential the height stay consistent.
Maintaining Your Shipping Container Floor
You must take care of every single part of your shipping container from top to bottom. Regular maintenance is critical as a shipping container owner. Allstates Containers is here with a whole set of tips for maintaining the floors of your shipping containers. It can be more complex than you may think! Many of these will be similar to those stated above. A lot of the same themes apply!
Your Container Needs to Sit Evenly on Ground Level: This prevents all water from pooling and seeping into the foundation. Rust, corrosion, and plenty of other bad things will follow.
Keep the surface clean: It’s almost a given that you will find surface dirt and debris when looking at your shipping container. We recommend taking the time to clean it when you see it. Avoid that corrosion.
Follow Guidelines on Storage Weight: Yes, containers are solid and durable, but too much weight will cause devastating issues. The load capacities are around 62,150 lbs. for a 20′ container and 59,200 lbs. for a 40′ container.
Invest in Durable Flooring: Most containers will come with plywood flooring. While it does the job you need it to, it is weak and will break down over time. It’s susceptible to breaking and rotting if it gets moist.
Many of us just totally disregard the state of the floor, mainly because we are always standing on it and not looking at it. But you can’t overlook it. If you know you’re going to be sliding heavy things on the floor, you may want to look for something like metal flooring, which can take the beating. When loading your container, consider that weight from your flooring, so you don’t overload it!
If you are interested in purchasing a shipping container, we can advise you on the best option. We can also show you our fantastic inventory and sell you the perfect container to meet your needs! Need something shorter term? We have shipping container rentals! Contact All States Containers today for all of your Conex container needs.