With heavy summer rain, tropical storms, and hurricanes, Florida is no stranger to severe weather. But what happens to a shipping container when severe weather rolls through? Don’t worry. Your mobile shipping container office or storage space can handle almost anything it is exposed to, within limits.
Yes, shipping containers are quite sturdy, and their strength comes from their steel construction. So, what kind of weather can they stand up to? Our team at A American Container explains.
Standing Up to Severe Weather
Shipping containers were designed to withstand strong winds and stormy seas while they traverse the globe. If the proper steps are taken to install and secure a modified shipping container, it should be able to withstand severe Florida weather as well.
Thanks to CORTEN steel, shipping containers can hold up to
480,560 lbs. on their corner castings.
Shipping containers are also weatherized for their travels across the ocean and can last up to 25 years if maintained properly.
Built to Be Strong> What Durable Materials are Used in Shipping Containers?
Now, let’s take a look at how shipping containers hold up in different severe weather situations.
Hurricanes and Flooding
While shipping containers are not waterproof, they are highly water-resistant. This means that your shipping container can easily keep water from heavy rains from your valuable inventory or equipment. However, if it is submerged during a flood, there is a risk that your container might let small amounts of water inside. Therefore, a raised foundation is important in areas where flooding is common.
On the other hand, shipping containers can withstand high winds—up to 130 mph if unsecured and 175 mph if secured on a proper foundation.
Here are some general wind ratings based on the wind load that a shipping container can withstand on a ship:
- 20-ft steel shipping container: 150 mph
- 40-ft steel shipping container: 140 mph
- 40-ft high cube shipping container: 130 mph
Note: These calculations are not exact as they can change based on geographical location and other factors. Consult with a licensed engineer for more specific calculations.
Weathering the Storm> Can Shipping Containers Withstand Hurricanes?
Tornadoes and High Winds
The average steel shipping container weighs around 4,000 pounds. That is a lot of steel! When it comes to high winds, like those produced by tornadoes or hurricanes, there is a risk that your container can shift from its location. Don’t worry, even in the most extreme conditions, many containers stay put.
Generally, you don’t have to worry about your container when it comes to wind. That’s what they were designed for after all!
As wildfires become more common, it is normal to be concerned about your container’s ability to withstand these natural disasters. The good news? Shipping containers are highly fire-resistant! They are so fire-resistant that many fire departments use shipping containers in their training and fire simulations.
While the exterior of your shipping container will likely come out of a wildfire unscathed, the extreme heat from a fire can raise the internal temperature of the unit. If you use a shipping container for equipment storage, an office, or inventory storage during the summer of peak wildfire season, you will want to ensure that the internal temperature of your unit is under control.
Some ways to protect your container from heat are:
- Paint the roof with UV-protectant paint that reflects the sun and reduces the heat the unit will absorb
- Insulate the walls
- Use fans inside the unit to keep air flowing
- Wrap heat-sensitive items to protect them from temperature fluctuations
While You’re Here> Why You Need an Insulated Storage Container
Snow and Freezing Temperatures
While we don’t have to deal with snow or freezing temperatures here in Florida, some of our customers might purchase a unit to take to a remote job site where it does get cold.
Snow and freezing temperatures don’t have an immediate impact on the structural integrity of a shipping container, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t damage your unit.
Think about it – snow is frozen water, and water is steel’s one enemy. When a shipping container is exposed to water for long periods, rust will start to develop, and your unit could go from stable to brittle quickly.
If you are using a shipping container for storage in a cold climate,
make sure to insulate any temperature-sensitive
items before storing them inside your unit.
As we discussed when we went over high heat situations, it is also important to insulate your container in cold weather.
Learn More> How Hot Do Shipping Containers Get in Florida?
A American Container: Your Shipping Container Source
As you can see, steel shipping containers can withstand a lot of weather! If you are ready to store and protect your belongings or build a mobile office for your job site that can withstand any weather, call our team at A American Container in Tampa, Florida for a quote; 813-740-1911!
We’ll help you think outside the box!