Shipping containers are pretty durable. Since they’re giant steel boxes, these containers can take a lot of punishment, yet they can get worn or damaged over time. While the containers are pretty inexpensive, some simple storage container maintenance is needed to keep them safe and in proper working order.

Storage Container Maintenance

Rust Control

One of the biggest dangers for a container is rust. If rust is spotted anywhere on the container, it should be addressed immediately. There are several ways to combat rust. Step one is to keep the exterior painted. Paint prevents moisture from reacting with the steel surface. Moisture is the enemy of steel – it corrodes and weakens. Keeping all surfaces, both outside and inside, free of standing water is a priority. Ice, snow, water, and debris should be kept off the roof.


The roof of a shipping container is a weak spot of the structure. A sagging roof can be a sign of compromised structural integrity. Once the roof sags, there is little that can be done to repair it. To prevent sagging, do not place heavy items atop the container.


Another weak point for shipping containers is the hinges. They can wear out over time and get stuck or squeaky. Metal scraping against metal as the hinge moves can remove paint, which allows for rust and can damage the hinges further. Keep the hinges well lubricated, painted, and replace them as needed.


If mold or rust is discovered on the interior of a climate-controlled container, check the container’s heating/cooling system. This system should be balancing the humidity inside the container, and mold or rust are signs of high moisture. Follow the manufacturer guidelines to ensure the HVAC system remains in good working order. Regular inspections and replacement of the air filters will ensure such modified containers will stay in good working order.


An uneven or buckling floor is a sign of trouble. If the container isn’t sitting on a hard, level surface, the container will settle, which can cause it to list to one side or twist. This twisting and listing can displace the supporting integrity (the corners), placing pressure on weaker places bending the metal, weakening the whole structure. Whenever containers are stored for the long term, they need to be placed on a flat, hard surface.

Shipping containers used for storage are incredibly useful in a variety of fields, trades, and purposes. They are pretty cheap overall, but some simple maintenance and inspection work can help keep them lasting longer, which means even more significant savings over the years.

Carolina Containers

We have a large inventory of shipping containers that can be used for various business purposes, including storage. For more information on storage container maintenance, contact Carolina Containers at 919-562-9187.