Rust: How to Combat Erosion

Rust can cause many problems for owners or hirers of storage units; especially when they are steel. Storage containers can have endless benefits and uses, but because of their outside living and their steel base, they can produce rust, and some corrosion if you don’t think of the planning, precautions, and procedures. How can you combat rust of a storage unit?


Even though there are many ways you can prevent rust and wear of your container, the simplest way (and most cost effective) is to combat deterioration through maintenance. By having regular checks, you can spot the rust before it’s in full development. If rust does slightly start to show, you can use a sharp thin knife or blade to remove it. By doing this you can reveal dirt and grit, which can be easily cleared up with a simple solution of warm water and soap.  By applying a coat of rust-resistant paint or other chemical solution, you can stop this from repeating.


Allow for Air and Water

When metals are exposed to open air, it can cause rust. Mixing air with moisture can cause a normal amount of corrosion, but by giving your unit the right amount of air and moisture, you can prevent it from occurring.

Through the original design of the unit, this should already be considered through planning. If proper design and planning were issued, then any crevices should be avoided, as well as proper drainage of water and circulation. Each unit can differ, from what the access needs are to the use of the container. For e.g., if running water is used, drainage needs to ensure no water stays in the cabin or gets on the interior or exterior of the steel.

rusty pipe


There are many products you can purchase to help stop rusting or corrosion. By using a process called galvanisation you can avoid this. This process is essentially adding a layer of metallic zinc to areas. The chemical absorbs the rust in any external coating and can also be cheaper than purchasing stainless steel while keeping the material rust free. This solution is commonly used for the coating of a car.


By preparing your container, and making sure it’s clean and dirt-free, you can keep it in top condition. As expected, the unit can build up grit and wear-and-tear over time. By using a hard brush, and a power washer, you can make sure it is in perfect condition before getting furniture in or kitting it out. Of course, make sure the container is fully dry before moving on. Plus, by having a completely clean area, you will be able to spot any potential rust, before it gets out of hand.

storage units

 Steel rusts when it encounters water and oxygen, but can be easily prevented. With a little TLC, some general housekeeping, a coat of solution and regular maintenance, you can stop any corrosion from occurring.

If you feel like your shipping container needs new lease of life, or it may even need replacing, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team on 0208 459 69762, who will be happy to answer any questions.


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