Rust is Scary: How to Maintain Your Shipping Container to Prevent Rust




Shipping containers are made of steel, ensuring durability, sturdiness, and longevity. Unfortunately, with every steel product comes the need to prevent rust. Preventing rust and addressing other potential issues is essential to maximize the longevity of your shipping container. Let’s delve into effective maintenance strategies to keep your container in top-notch condition!


Exterior of XCaliber's 40' Standard Basic Refurbished Shipping Container

Exterior of XCaliber's 40' Standard Basic Refurbished Shipping Container



1. Regular Inspections


Routine inspections are your first line of defense against corrosion and other concerns. Regularly assess the exterior and interior for signs of rust, cracks, leaks, dents, and other structural issues. Ensure the insulation and ventilation is properly intact. Promptly addressing minor problems can prevent them from escalating into major concerns.



2. Repaint


Paint serves as a barrier against moisture and rust. In addition to moisture, oxygen plays a role in creating rust. The paint limits the exposure of metal to oxygen, impeding the chemical reaction that leads to rust formation. Inspect the paint on the container and fix any areas where the paint has chipped or worn away, sealing imperfections. Moreover, there are often corrosion inhibitors in paint, preventing the process of rust by chemically interacting with the metal’s surface. When you repaint your container with quality paint that contains corrosion inhibitors, you add an extra layer of protection against rust. It is a viable idea to repaint your container every few years to ensure its protective coating remains intact.



Interior of XCaliber's 40' Standard New Shipping Container 



3. Fix Drainage Issues


Ensure the water drains away from the container’s base. Proper drainage prevents pooling water, preventing rust and deterioration of the container’s foundation. Level the ground beneath the container and add gravel or a drainage system if necessary.



4. Prevent Humidity & Moisture


Proper insulation regulates temperature and reduces condensation, which can lead to rust. Ensure proper ventilation by installing vents to promote airflow. Use dehumidifiers, silica gel packets, desiccant bags, or other moisture-absorbing materials to control humidity and moisture levels inside the container. If there are any air leaks causing humidity and moisture, seal them with weatherstripping, caulking, or expanding foam insulation. Furthermore, elevate the container slightly above the ground using supports or piers to prevent moisture trapped beneath it.


Exterior of XCaliber's 40' Standard Premium Refurbished Shipping Container

Exterior of XCaliber's 40' Standard Premium Refurbished Shipping Container 



5. Seal Gaps


On the topic of sealing air leaks, it is vital to seal all gaps to avoid rust and corrosion. Openings such as windows, doors, and vents can be potential entry points for moisture. Ensure that these openings are properly sealed and caulked to prevent water from seeping into the container.



6. Maintain Cleanliness


Dirt, grime, and debris can trap moisture against the container’s surface, accelerating rust formation. Regularly wash the exterior of your shipping container using mild soap or detergent and water. This simple practice not only maintains the appearance but also helps prevent corrosion.


Exterior of XCaliber's 20' Standard 1-Trip Side Open Shipping Container

Exterior of XCaliber's 20' Standard 1-Trip Side Open Shipping Container 



A well-maintained shipping container can last 20 years with its durability, security, and functional space. By following these maintenance strategies, you will prevent rust and corrosion as well as ensure that your container continues to be a canvas for your creativity and vision.  


To learn more about maintaining your container, contact us and we will help you with all your concerns and questions. 

📞 (940) 242-3178


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