I have sold shipping containers for a number of years and I sell them because I like them. I like the recycling aspect, I like the subsidised cost of them – subsidised because of the huge number of containers needed in the shipping industry. And I like the modern form of the symmetrical cube, a container home can be a thing of beauty but…
There are some serious issues to overcome if you are going to use a seacan for any of the numerous practical uses. Yes a container provides instant low cost storage. A shipping container can be easily modified as an office, workshop or cabin. Taken to their limits they are used as exhibition centres, hotels and of course homes. As long as they are primed, painted, sealed and elevated you can hold back the rust. But that’s a lot of effort if you purchased a rusty old seacan and need some easy non-insulated storage. Usually vehicle, materials or equipment storage.
So in the old days you either painted it or got a welder in every season or two. Now there are simple fibreglass pliable reinforced polyester patches that harden in uv light and are ready to sand, tap, drill or paint within an hour. Yes that is just sunlight! The patches will even bond to rusty surfaces, patches are waterproof and resistant to extreme temperatures, extreme heat and cold.
If your working with UV Quick patches inside, UV light may be an issue but UV flashlights are available for around $20 available in hardware stores. Although for shipping container repairs you are probably working on the outside of the seacan anyway.
Identifying a leak in a container is in my experience as simple as going inside the container in the light of day, closing the doors and searching for light. Once a hole is identified, locate it on the outside of the can and remove the pliable patch from the silver foil and apply over the hole. You can cut and mould the patch to shape. Bond the patch to the steel with pressure. Keep applying pressure over the entire area of the patch for a minute or 2 and your done. I use my thumbs to press down on the patch. Applying the patch is best done on a clean dry area so take a cloth with you. A wire brush if you’ve got some surface rust or a grinder with a wire brush attachment for more serious rust issues.
The patch will be rock hard in half an hour on a cloudy day. 15 minutes on a sunny day. You have about 3 minutes to place your patch from opening the foil package. After an hour you can sand and paint the patch. Or drill a hole and hang a shelf. It really is a solid bond.
I have now repaired a dozen or so shipping containers using this method over the last 6 months and now the rain and snow have arrived my container inspections have proven that this product really does work well.