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Shipping Containers for Sale: 6 Tips for Preventing Rust in Your Container

Even the highest quality shipping container materials are susceptible to rust over time. While most steel used in shipping containers are corrosion resistant—designed to help slow the development of rust—they cannot eliminate corrosion completely.

Shipping containers for sale: 6 tips for preventing rust in your container

When a shipping container is exposed to excessive moisture or wetness, the oxide layer gets destroyed, the materials begin to break down, and rust forms. This mostly happens when there is salt in the air, standing water on the container, or due to dents. Other factors that can contribute to a shorter lifespan for a shipping container are:

  • Various corrosive elements like airborne salts

  • Industrial pollutants

  • Transport damage that results in breaching the paint coating

  • Constant exposure to the marine environment

  • Salt-laden roads

In order to effectively prevent rust, it’s important to recognize the different types you may encounter. These include:

  • Structural: Rust damage that affects the integrity of the container

  • Non-structural: Rust found on the outer surface of the shipping container

Non-structural rust impacts the appearance of a shipping container. These areas can often be easily fixed with regular maintenance and spot treatments. Structural rust, on the other hand, lies beneath the initial surface, which could eventually interrupt the longevity of your shipping container.

How to Prevent Rust

1. Keep out moisture

It seems obvious, but one of the best ways to prevent rust development is to keep your shipping container dry and away from any water or moisture. Some ways to limit the amount of moisture inside your shipping container include: consider storing dry materials inside, ensure any plumbing is properly maintained, and regularly monitor any areas that are susceptible to potential leaks.

In addition to protecting the interior of your shipping container, you will also want to ensure that the exterior is effectively weatherized. Preventing long-term water exposure from the wet, harsh weather and damp ground will ensure your shipping containers avoid rust over time.

2. Use a tarp

The best way to prevent rust is by being proactive. You can easily protect your shipping container against surface rust by placing a plastic tarp over the exterior. While this solution can be used in any environment, it’s ideal for rainy or snowy climates where harsh weather is expected. A weather-proof tarp will help protect your shipping container against direct exposure to rain, hail, snow, and heavy winds, which may also blow rocks or branches, causing additional damage.

Although rust does not develop overnight, putting preventative weather solutions in place, like a tarp, ensures that your container is protected year-round.

3. House your container on dry land

Placing your shipping container on a concrete foundation will help protect the bottom from potential water damage. The less exposure the base of your shipping container has to moisture, the sturdier and more structurally sound it will remain over time. If your shipping container is placed on soft or wet ground (including dirt, grass, gravel, and sand), it’s recommended to lift it off the ground to prevent direct moisture exposure that may cause erosion and rust.

Raising your shipping container off the ground using tools such as railroad ties can further help protect against the elements. Having some space beneath your container will allow effective airflow, thus ensuring the bottom will dry out in the event it gets wet.

At Secure Container Solutions, we employ a team of qualified creative consultants and container engineers in Toronto, who are ready to work with you to ensure your storage needs are being met, no matter the size of your project.

4. Avoid wet areas

When considering where you will leave your shipping container, it’s important to consider the surrounding features. If you are placing it in an area with zero overhead protection, you need to be sure there is no potential moisture drainage. This can include having the shipping container under a tree or adjacent to a roof that may drain water onto the roof.

At Secure Container Solutions, we deliver our shipping containers to the location of your choice, where you’ll have access to it for the duration of the rental period. Our team of experts can provide advice and recommendations on where the ideal location is to place the container for optimal long-term storage.

5. Power wash the exterior

You may be thinking: is it a good idea to spray a container with water when you’re trying to prevent rust? The answer is simple: yes. In controlled settings, power washing the exterior of your shipping container can help protect against moisture build-up caused by mud or debris left behind by the elements. Things such as caked-on mud or dirt can hold onto moisture, causing specific areas on the container’s exterior to rust more rapidly than others.

Power washing the shipping container with a hose nozzle that produces a strong stream of water is an effective method for removing these types of build-up. In addition, power washing is an essential step when preparing your shipping container for any other type of maintenance, including applying a new layer of paint.

Our shipping containers for sale can be modified and customized, and our unbeatable price guarantee makes us the preferred Canadian supplier of storage containers for homeowners and companies alike.

6. Remove surface rust right away

Whether your shipping container is new or used, there may be some natural surface rust. This type of rust—when dealt with immediately—is treatable, as long as it hasn’t reached the internal layer of the container yet. However, if you leave this surface rust untreated, it will eventually cause the material to deteriorate, thus creating a hole in the metal.

If the rust is minimal, you can use a wire brush to scrape away any visible surface on the shipping container. Follow up with a damp cloth to wipe away any of the particles you scraped up. In cases where the rust goes deeper than the initial surface layer, you can use a wire wheel to remove the remaining rust. Wire wheels are a great tool for preparing a shipping container’s surface for maintenance and applying exterior paint.

As part of our services, our Toronto team provides clean, painted, and well-maintained shipping containers for sale, equipped with high-security lock boxes to ensure your valuables are protected.

How to Buy Shipping Containers for Sale

To learn more about our shipping containers for sale or to request a quote, call Secure Container Solutions at 647-560-2745 or contact us online.

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