Eye Catching Landscape Features – Mail Box Posts
A mail box post is available in many different styles and shapes. Standard posts consist of a 4×4 inch plank sunk in the ground. Sets are available as a combination package of both a post and support material.
Construction of Mailbox Posts
Mail box posts are available in different materials with the newest being molded plastic. Molded plastic can be shaped and painted into unique designs and incorporate many accessories. Plastic posts are durable and will outlast just about any wood or metal post. A plastic post can support almost any type of standard T1 size mail box.
Aluminum posts are the most durable of the metal posts. Aluminum doesn’t rust like steel and the finish stays longer. However, aluminum posts are more expensive than other metal posts. Galvanized steel is designed so the zinc coating will dissolve before the steel rusts. Eventually, the steel will rust and the post will need replacing. For oversize mailboxes, the aluminum post is needed to support the extra weight.
Wood posts are the traditional choice for many homeowners. For the do-it-yourselfers, wood is the simplest and most economical choice. The least expensive is the standard 4×4 inch post. Cedar and redwood are both insect resistant but quite expense and will eventually rot if buried. Untreated woods like Douglas fir and pine have the shortest lifespan because they are prone to rot and not insect resistant.
Pressure-treated wood is resistant to rot and insects due to the preservation techniques applied to the wood. But pressure-treated wood also needs to be coated with a protectant or it may crack or split. A wooden package with extra support features will also support an oversize mail box. Wooden sets for your mail box are available at most hardware stores or online.
Some mailbox posts are made of some type of masonry material such as granite, concrete, stone or brick. Before erecting these structures, it is advisable to make sure it conforms to both local and postal codes as well as homeowner association’s requirements.
Decorative mail posts are all the rage today. Some posts have built-in planters for live plants. Many planter posts do not require digging or concrete because of the amount of dirt and gravel inside the post. Some metal posts can be monogrammed to add a touch of class and sophistication to your entryway. When choosing a decorative post, choose one that compliments the mailbox which will adorn the top of the post. There are literally hundred of different styles of combination posts to select from.
A new post on the market today is one designed to swing away when those pesky snowplows run amuck. This ingeniously designed combination post has an arm that will swing away when snowplows bump into them saving you hundreds of dollars a year for replacement boxes.
By far, the majority of the posts are single-mount mailbox posts. Single-mount posts are posts that only allow one mailbox to be attached. Multi-mount posts are posts that allow more than one mailbox to be mounted. Several package options are available which allow two, three or even six mailboxes to be attached.
Mailbox Posts Installation
Installation for mailbox posts varies. Some are surface mount which means it needs a substance inside the hollow post to weigh it down. Usually this is pea gravel. Some posts are “drive-in” which means you hammer a stake into the ground about 12 inches deep and position the post on top. Other posts require digging a large hole and adding concrete. You then set the post and wait for the concrete to cure. This method is time consuming and not always the safest.
For all posts, be careful and read the installation instructions because some specialty or novelty mailboxes may require additional hardware and support for installation on your post. Many of these are available as a package set which includes the mailbox post, hardware and extra support needed for installation.
The U.S. Postal Service has issued regulations regarding residential mailboxes. Posts should be 6-8 inches from the curb and 42-46 inches high to the top of the mailbox. If the post has a vertical arm for support, the arm should not extend any closer than 6 inches from the curb.
Be cautious when selecting your posts. Approximately 100 motorists are killed yearly in collisions with mailboxes. Some posts are mounted in concrete or constructed of indestructible materials. In a collision, a motor vehicle can be severely damaged and its occupants injured or killed.
With a little research, selecting the right post can save you hundreds of dollars and a major headache in the near future.
It is difficult to make mailbox post or stand recommendations without knowing specific requirements. Therefore, we highly suggest that you check out the entire line of mailbox posts and stands.