Containers benefit enormously from being looked after even though they have very few moving parts.....
Your container is made from steel and to avoid it getting rusty and leaking you should protect it from damp and rain as much as possible, so here are some easy way to extend its life and save maintenance costs later on:
- You should not allow the container to have contact with the ground. Putting it up on wooden sleepers or concrete blocks works well. These are best placed at the ends, under the corner castings. Getting the container lifted can initially appear difficult, but actually a toe jack or bottle jack is quite strong enough. If you put one end slightly higher than the other, this can help reduce the amount of water that gathers on the roof. Assuming the front does not need to be low for a vehicle of some sort, it is best to slope the container backwards so that water does not run down over the doors but instead runs off the back of the container.
- When levelling a container, you should try to make sure that the feet are in a single plane so that the container is not “racked” (i.e. the container can rest on a slope as long as the ground is even) – this will make the doors open and close and lock much more easily. Indeed if the doors don’t close, it is almost always because the container is “racked” and you can put this right by jacking up one corner and wedging something such as a piece of hardwood, steel or slate under that corner.
- Regular painting is desirable, especially of the roof and the spot at the base of each of the flutings that run down the outside, where water and dirt gather. Cellulose paint is much better than oil-based and a bituminous paint works well for the roof.
- You can keep the bars on the doors working well by putting grease (or PTFE spray) onto the points where they slot into the lugs at the top and bottom of the doors. These bars are sometimes cumbersome to use and many people cut off or unbolt two of the bars (there are always four to start with) – leaving one bar for each door.
- The ventilation points should be kept clear of cobwebs and dirt which can restrict the trickle venting that is intended to keep the container dry inside and to allow odour to dissipate.
- Graffiti should always be removed immediately as it will make your container less popular with neighbours and the aura of neglect will encourage break-ins.
- If you are storing low-value equipment you can try labelling the container with something indicating the value to reduce the chance of break-ins (something like “goal post store” has been known to work well for a grounds maintenance containers).
- Don’t make a great stack of flammable items, such as pallets, by your container as this is too tempting for arsonists - this may destroy your container and its contents.
- It is as well to have a phone number displayed on your container so that anyone wanting to contact you can easily do so.