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Shipping Container Repair and Maintenance 101

When you own a 20ft shipping container, your hope is that it lasts for many years to come. Although shipping containers look like unbreakable metal boxes, they do go through a series of knocks and harsh weather conditions, eventually leading to natural wear and tear.

Repair and Maintenance tips for shipping containers

At Secure Container Solutions, we have a large selection of exceptional shipping containers for sale and for rent. When it comes to 20-foot shipping containers, we provide a truly professional service for ensuring you get the most out of your experience.

To get the most out of your shipping container, it’s essential that you practice proper storage container maintenance to see your return on investment. To prevent damage and extend the life of your shipping container, let us take a closer look at common maintenance and minor repair tips.

Keep the Doors Shut at All Times

Let’s start with the simplest maintenance tip: always keep the shipping container doors shut when it is not in use. This means that the door is securely shut and not ajar. The reason why it is important that all doors are closed properly is to prevent moisture from entering the container.

Even if it is left open slightly, moisture, dirt, and debris can enter the shipping container causing the plywood floor in the container to corrode. With a corroded floor, it weakens the shipping container and your contents could get damaged.

Sweep the Roof

Roofs often get overlooked on shipping containers. However, the container’s roof gets exposed to moisture and it’s usually the first section of the unit that shows signs of damage. If you forget to sweep the roof of your shipping container, trapped moisture can build up on top and seep through the ceiling, thus causing rust and holes.

To protect the roof from moisture exposure, sweep it with a sturdy broom and remove all loose debris, leaves, dust, and dirt. To add extra protection against moisture, apply mobile home roofing tar to the roof.

Position the Shipping Container Properly

The location of your storage container makes a world of difference. For instance, placing the container on grass or dirt increases its exposure to moisture, which causes the bottom of the container to rust over time.

To avoid rust from developing, it’s wise to place your storage container on concrete, a stone surface, or blacktop. If you do not have the option of concrete or stone surfaces and you have to place the container on dirt or grass, be sure to place wood blocks on the ground first, then prop the container on top of the blocks.

Lubricate Shipping Container Doors

You need to keep the doors on your shipping container in tip-top shape. The doors need to be able to open and close without any issues. We recommend lubricating the container doors’ gaskets and top and bottom latches with WD-40. By regularly lubricating the container’s door latches, it will be easy to open and close them properly.

Common Repairs on Shipping Containers

Doors aren’t Closing Properly

Forgetting to lubricate the shipping container’s door latches and gaskets regularly causes corrosion on the latches, making it difficult to open and shut. Along with rusted door latches, the weight of the contents in your container slightly shifts its position away from the ground; this makes it challenging to open the doors.

The solution is to readjust the position of the container by lifting it up with a car jack. With the car jack lifting the container, place some blocking slips to level it off. Proceed with caution while doing this by having a partner secure the car jack, while you slip the wood blocking underneath. Once you finish placing the wood blocking on the corners of the container, the doors should be able to open properly.

Floors Are Damaged

As stated, moisture can ruin the floors of your shipping container due to its plywood structure. If the plywood floor gets damaged, the upside is that they are easy to replace. You can replace the floors with treated plywood, which prevents moisture from seeping in.

The solution is to get new plywood that matches the same thickness of the original that you are replacing. Remove the old flooring section on the cross-members under the floor, then screw in the new plywood into the space.

There Are Holes in the Container

Over time, rust causes small pinholes to form on the surface of your shipping container. If you notice these small holes, you can weld metal patches over them. Small pinholes in a small area are saveable. However, if you leave them unpatched, rain can enter the holes causing damage to the interior.

If you have larger holes, we recommend cutting out the section, replacing the area with corten steel, welding it into place, and sealing it up. It’s difficult to find corten steel in hardware stores, so it’s best to contact the company where you bought or rented the container and order it from them. Once you receive the corten steel, you need to hire a welder to do the job or do it yourself if you have welding skills.

The Lock Rods and Door Seals Are Broken

Door seals eventually wear out and will need to be replaced. The solution is to purchase a door seal kit that fits the measurements of the container’s doors, and remove the old seals and place the new ones from the kit.

The lock rods are the pieces that are located on the height of the door. They can bend or wear out over time. You will need to replace them, along with the keepers that secure the lock rod in its place. This can be a tricky job and if done incorrectly, you won’t be able to lock the doors properly. If you require assistance with replacing the lock rods, we can replace them for you.

Contact Secure Container

For more information on 20ft shipping container repairs and maintenance, contact Secure Container Solutions at 416-817-3216 or email us here.

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