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Easy Guide to Shipping and Storage Container Maintenance

19.05.2017 - Posted by Updated On 19.05.2017    

Shipping containers and shipping containers being used for storage can last a long time, and an even longer time if they're given a little annual maintenance and cleaning. We usually recommend the spring time for this, because over the winter snow, freezing temperatures and rain can work its way into unseen cracks and crevices and possibly expedite rust and corrosion if left unchecked. We've touched on this area before in the article, "How to Clean a Shipping Container", and will add a few new ideas in this article.

Container cleaning and repair shouldn't take too long, and if you have a plan and know what to look for it can go even faster. Here are five steps that we usually recommend to keep your shipping container in wind and water tight condition for a long time.

Roof Repairs

Start by checking out the roof. For this it's best to start checking for rust inside of the shipping container with the doors closed and walk around looking for any sunlight that might be coming through. If you see light, remember where it is. If there's no obvious light, great. The second part requires a ladder and getting up on top of the container. Look for any water that might be pooling (this could also be mold spots), or rust spots beginning to form. Treat any rusted areas and repair any dents that could cause future problems.

Treat Rusted Areas

On the roof and sides, look for any rusted areas that need to be repaired. If left on their own, rust and corrosion will grow. Small spots can be wire brushed or sanded and then repainted. If the spots are larger or go the entire way through the container it's best to find a patch. Patches can either be welded on, or with a product like "quick tape". Once the patch is in place, make sure it's painted over and sealed up tight to prevent any water from getting behind the patch and causing more problems.
shipping container surface rust

Repair and Lubricate the Doors

shipping container door repair There are very few moving parts on a shipping container, but the two parts that do move – the doors – are pretty important. Take a few minutes to look around the doors and check for any rust or corrosion that might be behind the gaskets, and then use a good heavy duty cleaning agent to remove and dust and grim that has built up over the last year. On the hinges something as simple as WD-40 will keep things moving, while on the cams and rods a squirt of grease will keep them turning easily.

Make Sure It's On the Level

Over time and a freeze/thaw cycle, the ground under anything heavy can begin to compact, so shipping and storage containers are no different.  There are a few ways to make sure that your container is level, and one of the easiest is to stretch a line between the two corners and run a bubble level down it. If the container isn't sitting level the seams and welds can have extra stress and begin to open up. Another sign of a container that isn't sitting level is the doors don't swing properly – which is a big problem.

Check the Flooring

Lastly, if you can walk around the container inspect the flooring for any signs of unusual wear, moisture or other damage. This is a good time to sweep the container out also, and if you're doing this step last any repairs that you've made can be swept out while you check out the floor. is an online marketplace for buying new and used shipping containers. If you need a storage container for your home or business, search any of the locations listed on the site and find a storage container that's right for you. If you can't find one in your area, or don't know where to start, feel free to contact the staff at directly.

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