A Beginner’s Guide to Inspecting and Restoring a Used Conex Box

When containerization began over 60 years ago, no one envisioned Conex boxes would have so many other applications beyond carrying cargo. Today, these shipping containers are fast becoming a popular choice for building different kinds of structure, including commercial spaces, temporary shelters, and storage facilities. The discovery of their alternative uses has, beyond a doubt, revolutionized architecture and engineering.

If you are looking to use a Conex box for your project, you will enjoy a great deal of benefits. Apart from cutting down on construction cost, you can also save a huge amount of time because not only do these containers have built-in framework, but they are also easier to work with than other construction materials. You can save a lot more if you will opt for pre-owned units. However, that requires a different approach compared to choosing brand new ones. You will have to inspect and restore a used Conex box to make sure that it is ready for use in your project. Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Buy a Used Conex Box and Perform the Right Inspection and Restoration

What to Look For

Before deciding on a unit to purchase, you have to carefully inspect it first. Initially, you must check the exterior for surface rust, especially below the door. Make sure the rust is just skin-deep and has not spread within the metal panels. Then check the gasket around the door area for wear. There usually is a wooden floor inside the container so you might want to check its condition as well. See if it can still be salvaged or a new set is necessary.

Some used Conex boxes have penetration and pin holes. Even the toughest of steel panels can get this damage either by accident or deliberately when installations have to be done. Depending on how you are planning to use the containers, you can have these holes patched for full weatherproofing. To make sure you are looking for the right elements, tag along a professional to help you with the inspection.

Steel and Corrosion

You may think that finding rust is a red flag and that you should walk away and find another unit, or better yet, select a brand new one. The truth is that most of the rust on steel are just on the surface, and the reason for that can be more clearly seen under the microscope. Steel is mostly made of iron and carbon. Now, iron is known for oxidizing quickly. When an atom of iron combines with an atom of oxygen, iron oxide (the chemical formula for rust) is formed.

To improve iron’s resistance to oxidation, carbon is added. The combination is called steel. The level of corrosion resistance of steel depends on the amount of carbon used and the type of environment the steel will be exposed to. Steel is not as unyielding to corrosion as non-ferrous metals like aluminum, copper, or silver, but it can maintain its useful properties for a very long time. The rust of the surface of your container’s steel panels may just be superficial and can be done away with by scraping and recoating.

Clean, Coat, Patch, and Weld

As soon as the unit is delivered to your property, perform the necessary restoration right away. Don’t wait until the next rain to fall before you clean and paint the exterior surface of your unit; otherwise you are only subjecting it to further weathering. Before you paint though, you have to make sure all holes have been carefully patched, missing gaskets replaced, and loose parts already welded. This way you don’t have to leave behind some areas uncoated just to be able to perform these tasks moving forward.

You can have half of the job done by simply turning to a trusted Conex box supplier. With a company like Equipment Management Services, you can be sure that the unit you will purchase is of good quality, whether it’s brand new or used. Their products are even more accessible than those from other providers because EMS has off-dock shipping container storage and maintenance facilities in Houston. There other offices are in Dallas and Seattle.

Sources:

HISTORY OF CONTAINERIZATION, worldshipping.org

Steel, chemistryexplained.com

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