In the modern era, almost everything is disposable but shipping containers are designed to last. Shipping containers are well-built, durable structures. They are designed to endure extreme heavy weights and bear heavy loads for many years.
Shipping containers are also designed to withstand severe weather conditions so they are wind and watertight structures, but due to being constructed mainly from steel, they are susceptible to rust. Shipping containers are made from high-grade steel though so they will be able to resist deep corrosion for many many years, but instead will form light rust on their surface.
A shipping container’s lifespan will depend on a number of factors, such as the age of the container at purchase, the condition, and the intended location of the container.
A container home can easily last well over 50 years as these durable structures are often treated and clad as part of the building process. This article will look at the various ways to increase your shipping container’s longevity through initial maintenance and ongoing maintenance:
It is possible to extend your shipping container home’s lifespan by proper maintenance, and this maintenance starts when you first receive your shipping container, especially if it is a used one. Before you purchase your shipping container, be sure to thoroughly inspect it. Any previous cracks or dents could encourage an initial onset of rust which is what you want to most avoid with shipping containers.
The best way to extend the lifespan of your container is to minimise moisture contact, so before you place and modify your container home, and ultimately cover it up with insulation, cladding, and walls, it is advised to first ensure there is no rust, holes, or missing paint. In most instances, some wire brushing or sanding and a few coats of paint will get things in excellent working order.
Some well-used containers may require that you remove some dents and weld in metal patches too. Adding a form of external cladding to your shipping container can add decades to its lifespan. Cladding shields the container’s metal from moisture, sunlight, falling tree branches, and other irritants.
The less the metal has to endure, the longer it should last. Storing your shipping container home off the ground will also be helpful in stopping the base of the container from being in constant contact with the damp ground and helps it to avoid any flowing groundwater during periods of precipitation. Raising your container home from ground level can therefore be a great way to slow the deterioration of the container floor. All this initial maintenance will set a good base to work off from and reduce your future maintenance requirements.
Well cared for shipping containers can be expected to last up to 50 years. Having your container regularly re-primed, painted, and buffed is a great way to keep your shipping container home looking good as well as keep the exterior protected from the elements. Continually inspect your shipping container for any dents and be sure to repair any that may appear. It is also helpful to minimise your container’s exposure to moisture as much as possible to prevent any degradation and rust or mould forming.
A helpful way of minimising moisture contact in your container is by being aware of and reducing the amount of what is known as ‘container rain’, which is a build-up of internal condensation. ‘Container rain’ can be reduced by being selective with what you store in your container. Also always try and keep your container home as well ventilated as possible.
Replacing any worn door seals will also be beneficial in increasing your shipping container’s longevity. It is highly recommended to seal your shipping container home’s floor with water-resistant paint or material every couple of years.
If you take proper care of your shipping container home you are guaranteed to get your money’s worth from it. Shipping containers are extremely strong structures and their high-grade steel means they are able to last a good few decades. We hope this article will help you to understand what causes deterioration in a shipping container and therefore how proper maintenance can help to increase the longevity of your shipping container home so that you may experience many happy years in your home.