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Tips For Keeping Rust Out of Your Shipping Container



Rust and shipping containers are not a good combination. When exposed to moisture, corrosion will slowly eat away at the steel, creating holes that only get bigger with time. It not only looks bad, it shortens the lifespan of your container, even though it’s made of heavy-duty steel that can traverse oceans.

Rust forms as a result of oxidation that happens when the container routinely comes into contact with moisture, either through condensation, humidity or standing water. Dings and dents especially attract rust due to the loss of their protective paint layer. This is why you should always fix dents and clean up leaks right away.

But you don’t have to be at the mercy of rust. Just be sure to regularly clean and maintain your shipping container and you won’t have to worry about corrosion. Check out these tips to prevent rust from occurring to your shipping container.

1.    Keep Things Dry

If you do nothing ese, just make sure you keep moisture, standing water and harsh weather away from your container. That’s because long-term exposure to water – whether from the trees above or the ground below – can spur the spread of rust.

2.    Elevate it Off the Ground

Add a foundation so your container isn’t sitting directly on uneven, soft or wet ground. This foundation can come in many forms, such as concrete slab or two railroad ties – doesn’t really matter. The point is to encourage the flow of air underneath the unit so it doesn’t come directly in contact with dirt, gravel, sand, grass, or insects.

3.     Use a Tarp

Cover the unit with a thick plastic tarp when you are not using it, especially in snowy or rainy climates. The tarps will shield your container from rain, hail, and heavy winds that can easily send objects such as rocks or tree limbs onto it.

4.    Pressure Wash the Unit

Because mud often accumulates on containers, it’s important to wash it off when that happens. You can use a pressure washer on a low setting or just a simple garden hose. Use this method if you’re prepping the unit for a paint job, too.

5.    Gable the Roof ​

If you bought a used container, you may have noticed dents on the roof. That’s due to stacking that is common in shipping container yards and on ships. Dents are naturally concave, which means water can easily pool there when it rains. Inside, put a 4×4 wooden plank at the lowest roof point, then, using a jack, push it into the ceiling so water will roll off the exterior.

6.    Remove Surface Rust

Surface rust is rust that has yet to reach the internal layer of the steel. Thus, it can still be removed. If you don’t get rid of the surface rust as you notice it, holes can result. If the rust is minimal, use a wire brush to scrape it off, then wipe particles away with a slightly damp cloth.

Contact Container King

Now that you know these helpful tips, it’s time to call us at 972-432-7376 for a free quote on a shipping container rental or purchase in Dallas.




  • Container King – DFW
    13555 S Stemmons St, Sanger, TX 76266
    This is our Dallas/Fort Worth container yard.
  • Container King – Dallas Sales Office
    10405 E NW Hwy #212, Dallas, TX 75238
    There are no containers at this location.