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Container Condensation

When you’re storing valuable goods inside a shipping container, you want to rest assured that they are safe and sound from damage and deterioration caused by condensation.

Unfortunately, condensation is a fact of life with shipping containers as every container contains moisture, no matter their size or quality, because of moisture in the air. The amount of moisture can vary depending on factors such as air space (how full the container is), ventilation, container usage, the moisture content of your goods, humidity and the frequency of opening doors.

The moisture inside will turn into condensation as a result of temperature change. Since warm air holds more moisture than cold air, a drop in temperature will result in the air releasing moisture in the form of condensation onto the container roof and walls. Condensation build up can damage your cargo with staining, dampness, mould, mildew, warping, rust and oxidation.

How can I control condensation in my container?

Running your own dehumidifier inside the container for a few hours on a regular basis will significantly reduce moisture.  This can work very well in a home setting if your container is accessible to a nearby power source. Remember to empty the water out of your dehumidifier at the end of each drying session.

Dry Pole Desiccants
Dry Pole Desiccants are designed to trap moisture and reduce the dew point in a shipping container creating a protective environment of dry air. These powerful packs have a very long shelf life, absorbing 200% of their weight in moisture. They are easy to use, leak proof and non-toxic. Suitable for everything from fabrics and textiles, leather, electronics and machinery. Hang them from the ceiling or along the walls, they occupy minimal space. To maximise the life of your desiccant, cover container vents and try to keep your container airtight by keeping doors closed as much as possible. When you do go in, check the desiccant to make sure it still has absorbency. Hardcase Containers have dry pole desiccants available for purchase. Click here to enquire.

Open the doors
If lacking both above options, wait for a dry and sunny day and open the doors for a few hours to air it out. Be aware of weather conditions and temperature as you don’t want more moisture in than out.

Insulating the inside of your container will keep the interior as well as your contents warmer than the air’s dew point. It will also reduce large fluctuations in temperature, thereby preventing condensation. Effective insulation can include polystyrene insulation, metalized (foil encased) bubble wrap, cladding or laying aluminium barriers on the floor.

Vents installed in the walls of a container will allow airflow, removing moist air from the inside and allowing fresh, dry air to come in. It effectively equalizes the interior and exterior temperature of the container, thereby reducing the chances of condensation. However, if you live in a wet or humid climate or environment, vents are not recommended as they will allow moist air inside your container.

Preventing container condensation is very achievable with the right solution. While there are many options available, you will need to select the one most likely to suit your container, contents, environment and frequency of opening doors. If you have questions about condensation, our staff are more than happy to discuss your requirements and recommend a solution to suit you. We are just a call away!

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