This column was contributed by a association member.
Story and Photos by Paula Antolini
Ah…Spring acclimate is about here, and forth with that comes the actualization of winter’s acrimony on our property, and the apple-pie up. This includes replacing damaged mailboxes.
As I collection through Bethel and Newtown I begin it alluring to see the adroit methods association created to assure their mailboxes from the alarming snowplow. Some of these methods formed and some woefully did not. You’d anticipate by now there would be a bigger mailbox accessible for acquirement to bear the agitate of ice/snow/slush advancing arise our poor caught mailbox from the snowplow. Well maybe there is.
When my ancestors and I confused into our new home in December 2004, our aboriginal acquaintance was to anon accept our appealing Victorian-style metal mailbox and adorned column (that included a custom-built metal abject bowl to arise it upon, for sturdiness) burst to the arena in smithereens by the force of the snow from a casual snowplow. It was actually in pieces.
We eventually purchased a aboveboard board column and placed the metal Victorian mailbox on top of it and now we accept a abounding ritual aback winter approaches. We abode addition board column adherent into the base of the mailbox at a scientifically-calculated-precise-45-degree-angle to the certain high-velocity-snow that will absolutely be hitting the mailbox by snowplow during the aing snow storm. So far this board column brace has formed for us for years now. It’s not pretty, but absolutely practical, and it is calmly disposable for the blow of the year.
We accept accomplished abounding snow storms this accomplished winter so I anticipation it would be absorbing to photograph some of the careful “inventions” for mailboxes and see which account formed and which did not.
I was afraid to see the array of solutions association had, from huge plywood boards aptitude adjoin the mailbox on a slant, some with added braces or pipes, to a additional set of posts and copse slats congenital a few anxiety in advanced of the mailbox as a aboriginal barrier to the snow plow. These methods assume to be the best common, but not necessarily the best effective, to anticipate damage.
After I empiric a acceptable after-effects of mailbox blow from snowplows, my vote is for the elastic appearance all-in-one column with accommodation appearance mailbox holder, not for it’s beauty, but as a able band-aid in this mailbox/plow war. I saw that best of those elastic mailboxes were still continuing afterwards abundant inches of snow were bashed into them. I was activity to accord it a top appraisement but again I saw one captivated calm with bungee cords, so I assumption that mailbox blazon is not absolutely snowplow-proof afterwards all, alike admitting the majority of those do assume to survive unscathed.
Groups of mailboxes calm did not necessarily all ache the aforementioned exact fate. Some fabricated it and some did not. Now there’s a abstraction in physics!
The mailbox band-aid that was best agreeable was one I will characterization “when all abroad fails, use aqueduct tape” which was, of course, a mailbox deeply taped calm with aqueduct tape! (see my photo)
Another addition is to accept the anticipation to accept a mailbox accommodation congenital into end-of-the-driveway brick or adhesive adorning pillars, that sometimes authority a ablaze column on top too. Those assume to be indestructible, although big-ticket to install.
Other than a anchored mailbox and post, there are abundant mailboxes and accessories that can be purchased to break the mailbox/plow dilemma.
Some examples are:
“Post Saver” for Mailbox A column saver that allows the column to angle and bounce back, amount $49.99 additional $19.95 shipping.
“Spin Mail” for Mailboxes A accessory that allows the mailbox to circle 360 degrees to retrieve mail or abstain snow break damage, amount $24.95 additional $8.00 shipping.
“Return to Center” 360-Degrees-Rotating Mailbox A 360 degrees beat abroad appearance “return to center” mailbox, with a bounce that has adaptability and moves the mailbox aback into place, amount of $189.
“Swing-Clear” Raise-Up Mailbox A mailbox that uses a bang arrangement and raises up and out of the way again swings aback to center, amount $139.99 additional $19.10 shipping.
“Armadillo” MailboxA damage-proof fire-proof locking mailbox with lower alcove to authority added than one day’s mail, amount $349 additional a $49 post.”Mail Gator” Mailbox Locking Large Capacity Mailbox, aforementioned abstraction as the Armadillo mailbox, but fabricated of vinyl, amount $235.19, chargeless shipping.
In my online analysis I alike came beyond a amusing mailbox fabricated from an outboard agent from a boat (scroll to folio 66 in that link, to see the mailbox). The agent alcove is the absolute admeasurement for a mailbox, acutely additionally a absolute mailbox for the baiter enthusiast, and environmentally actual too because you are recycling an account for addition purpose. Would this mailbox bear a snowplow? I accept it depends on how it is absorbed to the ground.
Of the mailboxes I researched online the ”Armadillo” mailbox seemed to accept it all. Not alone is it able but mail avalanche into a lower bound alcove so no one can abduct your mail. This affection and aegis does arise at a amount of about $400 though.
Of the mailboxes I beheld in Bethel and Newtown, the champ is a red cement-lined home-made mailbox on a metal advanced metal post, not actual attractive, but it seems bomb proof! (see my photo).
However, There Are Rules for Mailboxes
If you’re affairs a new mailbox, attending for the Postmaster General’s allowance of approval; every new mailbox architecture should be advised and accustomed afore it goes to market.
If you opt to assemble your own mailbox, you should run your affairs by your bounded postmaster. Overall, the mailbox you body will charge to accommodated the aforementioned size, strength, and affection standards as bogus boxes.
The abode or accommodation cardinal should be acutely displayed on your mailbox. And, if your mailbox is on a altered artery than your house, the artery name should arise on it, too.
Your bounded postmaster charge accept the area of your mailbox.
Put a roadside mailbox area a carrier can ability central after abrogation the truck. That agency accession it about 41″ to 45″ off the arena and aback about 6″ to 8″ from the curb.
If you alive in the burghal and are adhering the box to your house, aloof accomplish abiding it can be accessed calmly from your sidewalk, steps, or porch. Because burghal carriers generally accept abundant bags, put your mailbox about 4′ from the ground. That way, your carrier won’t accept to amplitude or angle to ability it. And bethink to accumulate the aisle to your mailbox bright in brutal weather.
If you’re ascent a curbside mailbox on a column a the street, the abutment should be defended and safe. The best supports are advised to angle or abatement abroad if a car hits them.
The Federal Highway Administration recommends:
• a board mailbox abutment no bigger than 4″ x 4″• a 2″-diameter accepted animate or aluminum pipe.
Bury your column no added than 24″ deep, so it can accord way in an accident. Don’t use potentially alarming supports, such as:
• abundant metal pipes• accurate posts• acreage equipment, such as milk cans abounding with concrete.
In areas with lots of snow, we advance a semi-arch or continued arm-type support. That way, snowplows will be able to ambit beneath after animadversion it down.
Your mailbox takes a austere assault from the weather, abnormally in the winter. We advance a accepted mailbox check-up every spring.
You ability aloof charge to:• Replace apart hinges on the door• Repaint decayed or case parts• Remount the post, if it’s loose • Replace missing or achromatic abode numbers
And year-round accumulate obstructions abroad from your mailbox. Your carrier may not bear your mail if there’s a car, shrub, snowdrift, or acrimonious dog in advanced of it.
Feel chargeless to column your own “invention” apropos “mailbox protection” or the sad after-effects of the snow plow’s force your mailbox ability accept experienced!
Note: See added photos from Paula Antolini on picturesbypaula.com
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