Shipping containers and sea cans are well known for their durability & versatility, which is one of their biggest selling points and why they are still so popular today. However, like most things, they will eventually wear out. Depending on how well they’re maintained your container can last a few years or a lifetime.

In this article we’ll discuss how you can maintain your shipping container so that you can ensure that you get the most life out of it as possible.

How to Maintain Your Container

Since they are constructed with high-grade metal, shipping containers are built to withstand some of the harshest and most extreme environments imaginable – after all they were designed to be out at sea for years on end. With that being said, they still require some maintenance to ensure they are both wind and watertight along with being structurally sound.

Here are 5 easy ways to help ensure your container lasts for years to come.

1. Rust and Dents

One of the most important things you’ll want to do is inspect for both rust and dents on your shipping container. As you’re likely already aware, rust can cause severe damage by slowly rotting away your container if left unchecked, (similar to a car or any other metal object) so you’ll want to ensure that you find and repair any rust spots immediately before it starts to spread.

Dents can also be a cause of rust depending on where they’re located (since water can pool in them). Luckily, they are typically much easier to treat than rust since you can often just hammer them out from the inside of the container. Another reason to treat dents is that they can grow over time which may cause structural issues to your container.

2. Proper Placement

How you place your container is extremely important. You always want to ensure that your container is placed on a flat / leveled surface so that water does not pool in or run down into the doors leading to moisture, mold, and rusting. Additionally, if it’s placed on too much of an angle it may also cause issues with opening and closing the doors.

3. Clear and Inspect the Roof

One of the most overlooked areas of shipping container care & maintenance is the roof. This is where most of the debris, dents, and water will build up, so you’ll want to ensure that you take the time to inspect it thoroughly and clear it off / repair it when needed.

4. Weatherproofing and Moisture

If you haven’t modified your container, the only entry point you’ll (likely) need to worry about weather proofing is the doors. What you’ll want to do here is to inspect whether there is any leaks or gaps in the seal once closed. You can simply add in weather stripping around the perimeter of each door to help prevent moisture leaking in.

Also be sure to check and lubricate the hinges so that they remain in good condition and prevent any issues with opening or closing the doors.

If you have modified your container to include any other entry points or windows – just be sure to check them as well for any leaks or holes where moisture can leak through.
Despite your best efforts, water or moisture may find it’s way into your container – this is why we recommend adding vents to the side to help air them out and prevent any moisture build up leading to mold or rust.

5. Cleanliness (Inside & Out)

Keeping your container clean will also help with preventing / deterring potential issues such as pests, rust, or mold. To properly clean your container, you’ll want to start by sweeping out the inside to remove any dirt or debris on the floor. Once your container has been swept, you’ll want to spray both the outside and inside with pressure washer (and cleaning product if you prefer).

Once you’ve finished spraying it, just be sure to let it dry by leaving the doors open or using a fan. To speed this up you can also sweep out any water or chemicals that have pooled inside from the cleaning process.

Where to Buy a Shipping Container?

Now that you know how to care for and maintain your shipping container, you’ll be able to make that investment last for a lifetime. If you’re looking to purchase your first container or just add another one to your collection, we can help!

At Van Isle Containers, we sell both new and used shipping containers / sea cans to our customers across Vancouver Island. Whether you’re looking for an 8 ft container, 20 ft, 40 ft, or anything in between – we’ve got you covered! We also sell custom office containers as well. To learn more or to get a free quote – just give us a call or check out our Container Sales page on our website!