The Top 7 Shipping Container Roof Maintenance Tips
Owning or renting a shipping container is a great investment. The benefit of having a shipping container is that you can use it for many years to come. That’s why there are many shipping containers for sale: they are versatile and can be repurposed any way you want.
However, shipping containers need maintenance, too. Similar to a car, the longer it sits outside, the more it naturally shows signs of wear-and-tear. To ensure your shipping container lasts a long time, it’s important to perform maintenance. You especially need to pay attention to the container’s rooftop, as this is an important part of the container that keeps it together.
At Sigma Container Corporation, we rent and sell shipping containers in a variety of sizes and colours to choose from. As well, we’re experts in what it takes to maintain your shipping container’s investment. To extend the life of your container’s overall structure, here are 7 shipping container roof maintenance tips.
1. Purchase or Rent Your Container From a Reputable Company
Currently, there are thousands of shipping containers for sale, and it might be tempting to buy a cheaper model to save money. However, we don’t recommend going the frugal route, as many times we have experienced customers who have previously purchased a shipping container for a bargain price without ever seeing it because it was a scam. Or, it didn’t last very long because the shipping container came with many damages.
Therefore, before you rent or buy a shipping container, you need to do your research on the quality of the container and the reputation of its manufacturer. A good starting point is to check the age of the container and if it is in good condition. If it’s used, ask the owner about any damages and if it can still be modified.
Also, ask the shipping container manufacturer about warranties. If they don’t offer warranties, buyer beware!
2. Avoid Overloading Weight on the Container Roof
It’s tempting to think that you can stack things on top of your shipping container, but this can cause a lot of damage to the roof. Every shipping container has corner castings that act as a reinforcer at each corner. These reinforcers are responsible for holding the structure of the shipping container together.
For instance, if you walk across a shipping container’s roof or load heavy items on top, it will flex. You’re probably thinking that you have seen shipping containers stacked on top of each other. It does happen! When shipping containers are stacked on top of each other or storage is needed on top of the container, the manufacturer has to reinforce the roof. This allows the roof to handle the extra weight.
3. Don’t Change the Shipping Container Roof
Typical shipping containers have sloping roofs that assist in draining snowfall and rain. We don’t recommend that you change the slopes on the container roof as its slope prevents standing water from pooling and destroying the roof’s structure. The other type of shipping container roofs are convex. This type of roof intends to shed water, but it is not as effective as a sloped roof. If you plan to change the roof of your shipping container, then we recommend that you don’t do it alone and hire us to make the modifications.
4. Remove Ice and Snow From the Roof
In Canada, we have long winters that produce a lot of snow and ice. When a shipping container is sitting outside during the winter, snow and ice are the biggest culprits for destroying the roof.
To prevent damage, it’s best to remove standing water, ice, and snow that has accumulated on the container’s roof. During the wintertime, we recommend getting into a routine whereby after a big snowstorm ends, you head to your container to clean off the snow.
You do not want to wait a week or two after a series of snowstorms occur to clean it off. If you neglect to remove fresh snow off the roof, it will freeze and turn into ice and it’ll be almost impossible to eliminate. By neglecting to clean your shipping container’s roof during the wintertime, that ice and snow will melt and turn into standing water, which results in thinning metal, rust, and moisture problems on your container.
5. Remove Dirt and Debris From the Roof
When winter ends, spring is the time when a lot of dirt and debris accumulate on the shipping container roof. After spring showers end, the rain and wind can leave debris and dirt stuck on the top of the roof.
In order to remove dirt properly, we recommend using a mild bleach or anti-mildew cleaner and pour it on the roof. Then, use a water hose to rinse it off. Afterward, use a broom to get rid of the rust and debris.
6. Conduct Regular Roof Inspections
In order to prolong the life of your shipping container, you should conduct regular roof inspections. Think of it as a long-term investment. If you leave it alone, it will eventually wear and tear.
By sticking to a routine whereby you inspect the roof and the overall condition of the shipping container, you will be able to repair any minor damages before they start deteriorating the structure of your container.
On the roof, you should look out for small dents that let standing water just sit. If you leave these dents alone, this eventually leads to corrosion on any chipped paint. You thus need to repair small dents as soon as you spot them by using rust-proof paint to prevent future corrosion.
7. Treat Surface Rust on the Roof
The slightest sight of rust requires immediate attention, and you need to treat rust on your shipping container the moment it appears. The good news is that clearing rust from the shipping container roof is cheap and easy. You can treat rust with sandpaper or a wire brush. Clean the rust off with sandpaper or a wire brush, and apply apple cider vinegar to the area and leave it to dry. To prevent rust from happening in that area, paint it with direct-to-metal paint to protect the container’s roof from future corrosion.