There are many reasons to buy a shipping container. They are a practical and cost-effective storage solution and provide a solid and versatile foundation for construction site welfare units, battery storage enclosures and a wide range of other applications. However, one of the few challenges you might face as a shipping container owner is condensation.

While condensation isn’t always a problem, it is certainly something to consider as it can be damaging to your belongings inside the container if not accounted for.

What is Condensation?

Condensation occurs when there is a meeting of two different air temperatures, regardless of whether you have a 10ft storage container, a 20ft storage container or a 40ft storage container. It is exact same process that creates the steam on a window when you breathe on a cold glass pane.

In a shipping container, condensation occurs when its outside walls are colder than the dew point of the air inside the container. There isn’t much that we can do to affect the outside air temperature, so the solution to any condensation must come from what we do on the inside.

Dealing with Condensation in Your Shipping Container

Fortunately, there are a number of methods for managing the condensation in your shipping container:

Ventilation

When you buy a shipping container it should come with adequate ventilation as standard. Ventilation helps to reduce the difference between the inside and outside of the container and therefore reduces the chance of condensation occurring. Sometimes, however, ventilation alone is not enough to combat condensation, and other tactics might also be needed.

Anti-Condensation Lining

An anti-condensation lining can be added to your shipping container to help prevent condensation drops from forming. These will essentially absorb the excess moisture in the air, meaning it can’t then cool upon meeting the outside wall to cause condensation.

Container linings include boards that not only reduce the moisture in the air but also have insulating properties that reduce the drastic temperature differences that cause condensation.

You can also purchase anti-condensation coating which can be applied to the surface of the roof to help to absorb moisture and reduce condensation.

Reducing Air Space

The more air space that you have inside your shipping container, the more moisture you could have. This means that if you are using your shipping container for storage, the more that you fill it, the less likely it will be that you have problems with condensation. We also suggest that you fill your storage container as much as reasonably possible to get the most value from your purchase.

Dehumidifiers

If you have a serious condensation problem, we generally recommend that you use a dehumidifier. This is plugged in (much like a small electric heater) and will extract the moisture from the air. You will need to empty it regularly or you can set up a hose system that will automatically empty your dehumidifier. You will also need to have access to a power source.

Moisture Caption Crystals or Moisture Traps

You can also use products that have been specifically made to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. Moisture caption crystals work by removing moisture from the air and turning them into a solution which is then collected in a tray that can be thrown away. These crystals are quick and easy to use and are a cost-effective way to help to fight condensation.

If you do have condensation in your shipping container, it is important that you take steps to reduce it. The damp caused by condensation can be damaging to your belongings and lead to the growth of mould and other fungi.

Fortunately, there are many solutions to the problem of condensation, helping extend the lifespan of your container and the items stored within.