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Have you ever wondered how weatherproof storage containers are? Are they fireproof? Can they protect stored items from water and wind? What about dust? Can hurricane winds lift a container off the ground? When storing your furniture, documents, equipment, or anything else, you need to know if your contents will be protected from the elements.

Weatherproof storage containers are wind and watertight; resistant to snow, ice and fire; and can maintain structural integrity in challenging conditions. In this article, we’ll break down different severe weather conditions and how they affect steel storage containers.

Weatherproof Storage Containers Design

Here are a few key ideas to keep in mind before we dive deeper into specific weather and how it affects weatherproof storage containers. These containers are designed initially to use on massive container ships. While at sea, they’ll experience a variety of wet and windy weather. So, they’re designed with these experiences in mind.

Weatherproof storage containers have four intake vents, two on each long side. These vents allow a small amount of air circulation but keep out water, wind and pests. Other than these vents, there aren’t many entry points for weather to enter. The door openings have strong gaskets, which seal them. It helps make containers more weather-resistant and wind and watertight.

The same weatherproof qualities keeping storage containers safe on the seas help them resist severe environmental conditions.

White shipping container next to blue shipping container.
What does it mean when we say a shipping container is weatherproof? This blog looks at how weatherproof shipping containers perform in water, wind, snow, ice, heat and fire.

How Windproof are Storage Containers?

Our containers at Southwest Mobile Storage are free of holes with gaskets along the doors to seal the inside against dirt and dust. That means they’ll protect your stored items during a wind or dust storm, preventing a coat of grime. If you plan on keeping your weatherproof storage containers outside during any severe weather event, you should secure the container to a foundation to ensure the security of your contents. These types of extreme wind events vary in intensity depending on your area. Understanding why and when you need to give your container more formidable legs to stand on is essential.

Containers have been lifted off the ground in intense winds. A stack of 40ft storage containers toppled onto a fence in Alabama after facing severe wind gusts. These containers likely weren’t adequately secured when stacked and not on a sturdy foundation. It’s always wise to be cautious around containers when winds start blowing hard.

20ft weatherproof storage containers weigh 4,500 lbs. and a 40ft containers weighs 8,500 lbs. empty. Without a load or proper foundational support, they can bear wind speeds up to 60 mph.

How Waterproof are Storage Containers?

Containers deal with a lot of water and moisture during their day jobs on shipping vessels. Gaskets around both doors provide a secure barrier against even the most torrential downpours. Sometimes, weatherproof storage containers will float on the surface of the water. Consider containers floating after extreme weather in Australia or during flooding in South Africa.

You shouldn’t submerge weatherproof storage containers in water. But these unusual examples show how waterproof they can be, depending on the quality of the container’s gaskets. If kept in proper condition, gaskets can slow the flow of water, retaining the container’s “seaworthiness” for up to 15 months. Those same gaskets help barricade your container’s inside and keep your items dry during heavy rains.

While occasional floating is impressive, there isn’t much practical purpose to having your container sail down the street during a flood. Like severe wind events, secure containers to a foundation before heavy rain or flooding occurs. Otherwise, your unsecured container might damage its contents or surrounding properties, causing frustrations and potential fines. A downpour might even muddy the ground beneath an unsecured container, causing the container to sink. That’s why a solid foundation is so important.

You may also want to look for condensation or “container rain.” Think of a glass of cold water on a hot day. When the outdoor temperature fluctuates too much, the storage containers vary in temperature, creating condensation. It may rain down on your stored contents. It is a rare problem but something to be aware of, especially in humid environments. If you experience condensation, look into purchasing desiccants for the inside of your container to maintain a moisture-free environment. You can also use painter’s plastic to weatherproof your storage container contents further.

How Snow and Ice-Resistant is a Storage Container?

Weatherproof storage containers keep out snow and ice. Water may pool on top of the container and freeze if the roof is warped, causing rust. But if you regularly maintain your container, it won’t damage your contents. Container doors may also become stiff and hard to open during a cold front. If this happens, remove any ice on the doors and apply WD-40. It should make it easier to open your weatherproof storage containers.

Typical winter conditions shouldn’t damage your stored items. If they need to be kept above a specific temperature, consider wrapping them in blankets or insulating the container’s interior. Our container fabrication experts add insulation to increase how weatherproof your storage container is for you and keep your items warmer during cold weather.

Are Weatherproof Storage Containers Fire-Resistant?

In 1977, the U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Transportation researched the combustible qualities of ISO containers. They discovered storage containers possess fire-resistant qualities. Even heavily used containers with broken hinges, torn gaskets or dented frames demonstrated some fire resistance.

Most fires started outside the container will not engulf the container enough to destroy its structural integrity. Our sister company, Fire Training Structures, uses the fire-resistant qualities of storage containers to fabricate training simulators for firefighting.

While containers can bear a lot of heat before failing, they’re not invincible. Do not take refuge in weatherproof storage containers during a fire and follow the instruction of local authorities and emergency services. Containers cannot resist more than 450 degrees Fahrenheit fires for longer than four minutes. They can structurally fail, melt, or transfer radiant heat to cause the spread of flame to adjacent containers. Make sure any combustible items near your container are properly stored, and you have a plan for protecting your container in case of a fire.

How Temperature-Resistant is a Container?

Weatherproof storage containers are not built to keep temperatures stable. Temperatures inside a container can reach as high as 144 degrees Fahrenheit under direct sunlight. Your container’s temperature is affected by various factors, including its color, how shaded it is and the weather. Lighter container colors like beige and white decrease temperatures inside the container, while darker colors increase temperatures. A simple paint job might be enough to help you regulate the temperature of your container.

If you have a temperature-sensitive load, consider adding insulation to the inside walls of the container. You can request we add insulation to your weatherproof storage containers by speaking to your dedicated sales representative.

Summary

It’s important to be confident that your outdoor storage solution will be able to handle a variety of environmental conditions. From wind and water to fire and ice, storage containers are flexible steel juggernauts standing between your stuff and the destructive forces of nature.

When a project requires secure outdoor storage, turn to the experts at Southwest Mobile Storage. We’re here to help transform your big plans into reality. From helpful salespeople who can provide professional advice on weatherproof storage containers to our master fabrication team customizing containers to solve challenges you face, let us make the process a breeze. Get a quote today!

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