Winter is here, the days are getting shorter and darker. It’s time to get your 20 ft, 40 ft, or 40 ft high cube container ready for the winter days ahead.
Corten steel shipping containers with a wooden floor are specially designed to protect everything inside them from the sun, snow, wind, and even rodents. While wind and watertight, they can still be affected by extreme weather. We talked to Eveon Containers’ North American Operations Manager, Stefan Shine, to learn about how to prepare your container for winter and the extreme climate changes of the season.
“While durable and able to withstand the harsh tenure at sea, containers can also benefit from a little TLC this time of year. If you live in an area that customarily gets substantial amounts of snow, make sure to inspect the container for holes along the sides and roof. Keep joints lubricated and remove extra surface dirt with a mixture of water and Windex.” Shine says.
“Preserving container life is one of the primary focuses of Eveon Containers. While no longer deemed seaworthy, shipping containers are an effective and sustainable building and storage solution once retired from sea. Regular checkups and care can keep them protecting your items for years to come!”
More recommendations and tips: Condensation is often one of the first effects of weather people notice inside a container. If you live in an area where the temperature fluctuates or drops below freezing, condensation can occur. When the sun shines, the outside of the container heats up so that the steel is warmer than the temperature inside the container and can cause condensation. Because of the temperature difference between the air outside and inside the container, water droplets will appear. Instead of condensation building up on the outside of the container, like on a water glass, it will appear on the inside. Often referred to as “container rain”, this occurs when water droplets appear on the container walls and ceiling and drip onto the floor, which can cause mould and rust.
Although condensation is an issue in the winter and in colder climates, it can occur at any time of the year and in other climates as well—especially humid ones. No matter where you live, if condensation is possible, you should install vents on the end walls, container doors, and side walls. It is best to install two vents diagonally opposite each other so that the indoor temperature is equal to the outdoor temperature. This solves the problem 90% of the time.
Container frozen to the ground: When a container is positioned directly on the ground without blocks underneath the corner posts, it might end up sinking into the ground. Once it sinks and the ground freezes, your container will be frozen to the ground, making it difficult to winch out. If you plan to move your container during the winter, make sure to put blocks under the corner posts so it’s easier to move if necessary.
Roof damage: Another way to prepare for winter is to check your container for damages, such as rust or pinholes. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow during the winter, be sure to inspect the container for structural damage. Before winter hits, do a walk-around of your container and check for damages, especially the roof. See if there are any areas that hold water or that are starting to cave in. Push out any dents with water and caulk pinholes with silicone where the sun comes through.
Maintain moving parts: Keep an eye on the doors’ joints. By oiling them and opening them now and then, you can prevent joints from rusting and fusing together. Just like our joints, the container doors can get a little stiff during the winter. “Use WD-40 on doors and joints to keep them lubricated in the harsh winter months.” Shine says.
Check that the container is sealed: Look for any cracks or gaps in the walls. Anything that affects the humidity and airflow can lead to sudden environmental changes inside your shipping container.
Following these simple steps can ensure the life of your container and help protect your equipment and cargo for years to come! If you have any specific questions about preparing your container for winter, feel free to e-mail Stefan Shine at firstname.lastname@example.org.