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5 Tips for Inspecting a Storage Container

Now that you have decided to rent or buy a storage container, there are lots of reasons you will want to inspect it thoroughly. Most storage container rental companies will require units to be in a certain condition upon return. If you are buying a container, you will, of course, want to make sure it is in the best condition possible. Check out these tips from Page Street Leasing on what to look for when inspecting a storage container for damage and/or quality parts.

1. Examine the Interior and Exterior

One of the best things you can do while examining a storage container is to simply walk around the entire interior and exterior. Most potential damage will be immediately obvious to you. You will want to look out for rust, rot, cracks, pests, holes, standing water, leaks, or signs of vandalism. Identifying obvious issues is a good place to start. Any strange odors you notice could be a sign of water damage or mold. If there is a glaring issue, you likely either need to have it repaired if you have rented the unit or should keep looking for another unit that is in better condition. You will also want to check out the top of the container as best as you can for standing water or cracks.

2. Check Out the Gasket Seals and Close the Doors

Inspect the rubber gasket seals around the container doors. There is an inner seal, which can be cut-off to make door operation easier, and there is an outer seal. The outer seal should be intact and pliable, as dry-rot of the rubber is typically the first spot where a container can show its age. It’s also a good idea to go inside the unit and close the doors, especially on a bright day. If any light is making its way into the container, there may be some rust or door seal issues. Any areas of light coming through should be inspected.

3. Evaluate the CSC Plate

The CSC plate is an engraved metal label located on the outside of one of the cargo doors. This plate will contain information such as the name of the manufacturer, the storage container company, and the date on which it was made. The container’s age should give you an idea of what kind of condition it should be in. Container age is generally less important than its overall condition, as some older containers have had a much lighter duty cycle than others, for example, a rental container that has been stationary for most of its years versus a cargo container that has been handled around ship decks and ports.

The container age can help indicate how much useful life remains, but the overall condition of the unit in terms of rust, dents, and floor strength are not always correlated with container age. The year of manufacture on the CSC plate could be important if you plan on shipping the container overseas.

4. Look at the Doors and Locks

Operate the doors to their full capacity while inspecting your storage container. Open them as far as  they are supposed to open, and try to close them tightly and completely. Test out any locks or locking accessories or features. One of the most important benefits of a storage container is that it is secure and lockable. If the doors and locks have issues, the container cannot serve its purpose. Leaky, poorly installed doors can even cause damage to the materials stored in your container if they let in air, heat or moisture from the outside.

If you can feel a draft around the edges of a door or window in your container, there might be a problem that your storage container company can address.  If the doors are stiff, lubricating the hinges and locking mechanism should help. However, it is important to ensure that the container is reasonably level, i.e. all four corners are on the ground. If the container isn’t level to the point where it is longitudinally torqued, even to an extent that is difficult to see, the doors can become difficult or impossible to open and close.

5. Examine the Floor

Solid, reliable flooring is one of the most critical elements of a dependable, high-quality storage container. It’s important that your stored materials are kept on strong flooring that will not rot and/or break. If you notice any obvious problems, like soft spots or cracks, you will want to point it out. Rotting sections of container flooring will likely give way, which can compromise integrity and damage your stored materials, so it is important to thoroughly examine this part of your unit. The underside of the container is comprised of I-beams running along the width of the container. The wooden floor sections sit on top of these I-beams. If the container is older, it is advisable to check the underside of the unit with a forklift to ensure that the underside structure is solid.

Contact Page Street Leasing for the Best Storage Containers in New England

If you would like to buy or rent a storage container in New Hampshire and beyond, contact Page Street Leasing. We offer a range of storage container rental and purchase options to serve virtually all needs. Whether you need temporary jobsite storage or a permanent storage solution, we can help. Call (603) 622-1673.