How to Prevent Mold in Shipping Containers
Shipping containers are extremely useful. They’re suitable for shipping anything by sea. Are shipping containers good for storage? They can be used for storing various things, including food. However, many materials in shipping containers, such as wood, fabrics & textile, and paper, may become a harbor for mold. Mildew in shipping containers can harm your cargo, rendering it unusable or, even worse, unsellable.
Are shipping containers airtight? Shipping containers are designed to be weather-resistant, but they are not completely airtight in the same way that a sealed room might be.
But you can avoid the problem. In this article, you’ll learn how to prevent mold in shipping containers.
The Main Causes of Mold in Shipping Containers
To prevent mildew in shipping containers, you must know where to expect it from. Addressing those causes will save you from battling mold in the first place. Here’s a list of factors that can provoke mold:
Contamination of products
Mold is caused by contamination with mold spores. It can occur during the manufacturing or storage of products. Therefore, it is vital to check the items you want to store or ship in a container and treat them properly in case of infection.
Moisture tends to lead to mold. If you keep wet items in a latched container for a long time, you will likely have to deal with mold later.
Wet packing materials
If moisture has gotten to the packaging, it’s also best to dry it or replace it with dry packaging. It’s better to use airtight storage containers for food.
Air in the packaging
Much air in the product packaging can dampen in long transit, eventually causing mold to form. Make sure your packaging is airtight.
Damp air in the container:
Not only moist products but also damp air and condensation can lead to mold in shipping containers during long transport.
We’ve described the leading causes of mildew. Read below how to eliminate these causes and avoid the formation of mold.
6 Important Rules on how to prevent mold in shipping containers
It’s much easier to prevent mold than to fight it when it’s already there. In this section, you’ll learn how to treat the container and the products stored in it to prevent the occurrence of mold. We will also tell you about maintaining the proper humidity level in the container, avoiding condensation, and, as a result, reducing mold in shipping containers.
Prepare your container
It is recommended to clean the container thoroughly before placing anything inside. You can easily do it yourself or hire a cleaning company.
Use vinegar to disinfect the container. Vinegar kills mold spores and other bacteria that can grow and spread quickly inside the container, damaging the stored products.
Spray the inside of the container with vinegar, and let it soak for five minutes. After, wipe off the vinegar with a dry cloth.
Also, before putting anything in the container, ensure it’s clean and dry. You can also apply vinegar to it if necessary.
After the disinfection, leave a bowl of baking soda inside for a couple of hours. It will absorb the moisture from the air.
The right desiccant will help you create and maintain the necessary dry environment inside the shipping container. It absorbs water and thus protects your container from getting wet.
How do you choose the right desiccant? The most common desiccants are silica, calcium sulfate, charcoal, and calcium chloride. These substances absorb moisture from the air and, as a consequence, reduce condensation inside the container. This way, the risk of mold in shipping containers and container houses is reduced.
For desiccants to give you the most benefit, you need to use the right amount of them. Also, check the desiccant periodically to ensure it’s still doing its job. If necessary, you should replace the desiccant with a fresher one.
You can place the desiccant on the floor, walls, and roof.
Also, make sure that the desiccant is suitable for your load before using it. Because in some cases, drying out the product may cause it to spoil.
Insulate your container
It’s one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent excessive moisture and avoid mold in shipping containers. The insulation maintains the temperature inside the container. Thus, the temperature difference inside and outside the container is not significant. Therefore, condensation does not occur and does not cause mold in the container and shipping container homes.
To insulate the container, you can put bubble-wrapped foil on the ceiling and walls of the container. For the floor, an aluminum barrier or polystyrene insulation will work.
There are different kinds of ventilation for shipping containers. You should choose the option which is most suitable for you.
Container ventilation helps minimize the difference between the inside and outside temperatures. It vents out humid air and fills the container with the dry air of the same temperature. As a result, a stable, low humidity level in the container is maintained.
Keep container open
This can be a very effective method of avoiding mildew in shipping containers. Keeping the doors, windows, or hatches open when the container is idle will naturally ventilate the container. This will prevent moisture collection inside the unit; thus, mildew will not appear.
Install a dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is a perfect solution for containers intended for the long-term storage of products. Remember that this option will require a constant power source for your container. Also, dehumidifiers need to be emptied regularly. You can attach a plumbed hose to the outside of the container for this purpose.
Mold can cause a lot of trouble. Unfortunately, if mold has already emerged, it is difficult to get rid of it. That’s why we guided you on how to keep storage containers in good condition and prevent or stop the spreading of mold.
If you’re looking to acquire a shipping container, contact us! We offer new and used containers of all sizes and of the highest quality. Our friendly staff will answer your questions and help you find the correct container for your needs.
How do I prevent mold in storage containers?
Mold appears and spreads due to high humidity over a long period. Therefore, to avoid mold in a shipping container, you should maintain an optimal humidity level. To this end, you can use desiccants, insulate the container, and keep the container ventilated. You can also use mildew-resistant storage containers.
Can I use a shipping container after mold?
Yes. If there is mold in your container, you can have it thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. After that, your container will be as good as new. For cleaning and disinfection, you can contact a cleaning company. You can also learn how to stop mold in shipping containers and do all the procedures yourself. Henceforth, tend to your container correctly to prevent such issues in the future.
What causes mold in the container?
Mold is caused by mold spores. On top of that, mold expands rapidly in conditions of high humidity. Therefore, treating the container with a special agent that can kill mold spores and other bacteria is necessary. Dry and ventilate the room regularly to prevent mold from returning and spreading.