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Top Tips for maintaining a shipping container

18 November 2014

So you’ve brought a shipping container (new or used) and hopefully it’s going to last you well over 10 years. However spending a little extra money at the start can help extend the life of your shipping container and can help you achieve even better oval value for its lifespan, following these tips below will help you maximise the life of your container

#1 Keep it off the ground / out of mud.

  • We recommend where possible to ensure your container is supported on its 4 base corners with a slight free airflow underneath, meaning your container isn’t sitting in any mud or puddles or water and can dry out underneath between bad weather spells. This will dramatically slow the rate at which the underfloor supports will rust away.

#2 Care for the roof

  • Usually it’s the roof rusting away we see happen first and this is often a sign your container is starting to rust away altogether. This can still be a very slow process (years) but following these few pointers can help delay the point at which this starts happening
  • Repaint or cover the roof with a high quality paint to prevent water getting to the metal surface
  • If the container has any dents that come inwards, you may like to pop these out to ensure water is not collecting on the roof.
  • Check the container once or twice a year to ensure that water is collecting and sitting on the roof of the container.

#3 Repaint the container
  • Repainting the whole container will not only add extra life, especially to the roof as mentioned above, but will also make your container look a lot smarter and potentially blend in better with your site.
  • We recommend where possible brushing any loose paintwork and major rust areas down
  • For a better finish you can use a power sander to run down and smooth off all areas of surface rust. This is more of a cosmetic improvement than a structural one (you can sand by hand – if you have  LOT of free time spare)
  • Then repaint your surface ideally with a marine grade paint or a high quality waterproof metal paint designed for outdoor use.

#4 Once a year, check your container for scratches in the paintwork and touch it up
  • Over time through wear and tear we typically expect your container will take the odd knock or brush that may scrape off paintwork and leave the bare metal which can then start rusting away. We recommend quite simply once a year checking over all available surfaces and touching up any small paintwork scratches with a high quality metal paint (hamerite or similar is ideal if you only have a few scratches to fix up) . If you can prevent the container starting to rust away for 10 years, then you’ve added 10 year to the life of the container.

#5 Door and seal checks
  • With your annual checks – it’s always well worth taking a good look at the doors, door hinges and door seals.
  • WD40 or oil the hinges every now and again to keep them as free as possible
  • Check the seals remain intact and aren’t letting water collect in the seal or door frame area, and that it’s not letting water into your container top and bottom of doors are just as important as the ‘easy bit’ to get to.
  • Seals that have worked loose may be possible to do a quick fix on. In some cases if the rubber has perished it may be best to get someone out to site for fit a new door seal. If you fancy taking this on yourself you can order door seals through us.

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