Shipping containers are robust and designed to withstand extreme situations from hurricanes to scorchy heat waves. The entire shipment industry relies on these bulky containers for the transfer of goods and cargo worldwide.

However, with time even these bulky steel containers may show wear. You cannot expect any material to last forever, but some maintenance along the way can make your containers last much longer. Most of these tasks can easily be performed on-site.

Shipping Container Maintenance Tips

Place the container on level ground: Use railroad ties or concrete blocks when placing and leveling the container. A level container helps avoid corrosion and damage due to water collecting in puddles on the container floor and roof. Placing the container on even ground at a raised level solves all issues of moisture collecting under the container. Being on level ground also allows the doors to open smoothly.

Keep doors lubricated: The doors of the shipping containers may remain closed for long periods when not in use. The lack of lubricant may cause the door hinges to seize and lead to rusting. Lubricating regularly can help prevent damage to the doors.

Control rust and mold: Use bleach and other cleaning agents for regular cleaning of the container. Periodic cleaning will avoid rust and mold from building up. Mold especially can damage the container contents.

Storing dry goods: Storing only dry goods reduces the chance of condensation being introduced inside the container. Also, do not open the doors and vents in humid conditions like in rainy weather and humid summer days.

Replace the worn rubber seals: The doors and the walls of the container are sealed with rubber for moisture control. However, these rubber closures may get damaged after several years. When any wear and tear is noticed on the rubber seals, replace them immediately to ensure protection from moisture.

Purchase Shipping Containers from a Reputable Source

Do not skimp on your budget when purchasing shipping containers. Whether buying a new or used container, conduct some research about the seller, and only invest in good quality and dependable products. You can rely on Carolina Containers for renting or purchasing your container. We provide support at all stages for our customers

Avoid Putting Excess Weight on the Roof

The roof of the shipping container is its weakest point in the construction. The top lacks strength when compared to the corner posts (where the weight is carried when the containers are stacked). Hence, do not put excess weights on the roof, or it may result in dents and sagging.

Clear the Roof of Debris, Water, and Snow

If debris, water, or snow sit on the roof for an extended period, corrosion can develop and cause leaking. Keep tools and materials handy to maintain a clean roof. Clear any standing water and snow from the rooftop as quickly as possible. Water retention can result in rusting of the thin metal layer, which will accelerate the degradation of the shipping container. Clear any debris from time to time as debris may trap water and also put weight on the rooftop.

  • Follow the Manufacturer Provided Guidelines for Climate Control
  • The temperature regulatory system within the container is similar to that of any HVAC system. Hence, staying proactive with timely inspections and regular maintenance is very important.
  • Identify and Replace the Caulk and Weather Stripping
  • Moisture can penetrate through cracks and crevices created from exposure to weather. Water can also promote mildew growth. Avoid such incidences by regular inspections and replacement of the caulk.


The last thing you want is a leak in the roof of a storage container. Protecting the contents is a priority. Using a shipping container for storage can give peace of mind that the contents will always be safe.

The roof of a shipping container is simply a corrugated sheet metal with a small side pitch to shed water. The roofs are made up of specially formulated steel called Cor-Ten steel that does not warp if there is standing water on it. But if water pools in a particular spot over an extended period, the roofing can start deteriorating. You could then encounter rusting, leading to small pinholes in the roof.

When containers are stacked, you need to check the roof for dents, which can be a result of stacking. These dents can collect rainwater and cause corrosion. So to ensure the longevity of a container, paying particular attention to the container roof and overall drainage of the shipping container is key.


In a world where we are constantly looking for sustainable options, living spaces have always posed a problem. Converting a shipping container into a house was first recorded in the late 1980s when a patent was filed. The eco-friendly nature of this technique and the vast numbers of containers available worldwide further adds credibility to it. These houses may be as small as 100 square feet or up to 1500 square feet according to the need.

Strong & Dependable, but not Indestructible

These containers are usually made from steel, specifically, Corten steel which is rust-resistant and weldable. However, climatic conditions play an essential role in triggering rusting of such container homes.

There are two types of rust that may show up on a shipping container house:

  1. Structural rust– this happens to those houses situated in areas with high humidity, high rainfall, and frequent fog. These conditions may lead to rust damage to the structure of the container.
  2. Non-structural rust– this type of rusting is generally harmless and on the surface level, which can be easily treated.

The best Treatment is Prevention

There are many tried and tested methods of treating rust and related problems in shipping container homes. Though not exhaustive, some of them mentioned below:

  • Preventing exposure to harsh weather is the best way to safeguard your home. Painting using ceramic insulation paint and blocking the moisture from reaching the container structure.
  • Design your home in such a way that there is enough vegetation on those sides that are bound to receive more rain and fog or salt-laden winds. Constructing a basement before placing the container; this will keep the underside safe.
  • Check that water does not collect in parts like the rooftop and any dents on the container.
  • For wooden parts, regularly make sure there is no pest infestation.
  • There are several insulating materials available that can be used to protect your home from condensation such as spray foam, insulation panels, blanket insulation, natural insulators like wool, cotton, etc.
  • Sandpaper can be used to remove small patches of rust and clean it using agents like vinegar before painting. In critical stages, the rust is sandblasted, and bare metal is exposed and then painted or coated.

Shipping container homes are one of the most sustainable and affordable options in today’s population crisis. Proper maintenance will help them to withstand tests of time and nature.

For more information on caring for a shipping container home, contact Carolina Containers at 919-562-9187. Carolina Containers is your source for shipping containers in Raleigh NC.