Home & Garden Do It Yourself

How to Replace Your Mailbox Post

Mailbox posts receive damage from all kinds of sources.
In snowy regions they often fall victims to snowplows and many times a sliding vehicle.
In other areas, inattentive drivers back their cars into the posts all the time.
Vandals lend yet another form of destruction that is hard to control.
Installing a new post is not a major chore as there are some time saving products that can help you get the job done quickly.
If you need to do a quick replacement and appearance is not the most important part, you can purchase a new post and ground anchor at most hardware and big box lumberyard stores.
The posts are almost always a piece of four inch by four inch, pressure treated timber.
Post kits come with a steel ground anchor that you can drive into the ground with a sledge hammer.
If the ground is too hard or rocky you will have to dig a hole and bury it.
This is of course is not the best deal as the soft ground may then allow your mailbox to tip over.
Follow the carton directions but basically it requires only that your keep the ground anchor plumb as you drive in down into the ground.
Once the anchor is flush with the ground, you simply insert the PT post and screw it to the anchor.
There are some rules from Uncle Sam as to where you can place your mailbox post.
Starting withthe vertical height from road surface to bottom of mailbox must be between 41" and 45".
The distance from the outside edge of curb or edge of road surface to front of mailbox is 6"-8".
Pretty close to the edge for plows to miss but mine has been here thirty five years and hasn't been hit yet.
Following these measurements assures the mail carrier can reach the mailbox door from their vehicle.
In some cases you may be replacing the post due to dry rot, carpenter ants or termite damage if the post was directly buried.
Removing the old post can be a real chore especially if it was buried in concrete.
You will more than likely have to dig all the way around the concrete to get it to release from the ground.
Besides being heavy, you need more and more concrete to refill the hole each time you replace the post.
If space is at a premium you are pretty much stuck with removal of the post.
If not, move over and just abandon the old post in the ground.
Posts can be made of just about any material and if you take a look around when your driving, take note of all the different ideas people have with theirs.
Posts with lights, names, house numbers, fish ornaments or even a toy airplane on top of the post for "Air Mail".
Posts can be constructed of stone, wood, plastic, steel pipes or chains and as long as they adhere to the Postal rules for location of the box itself, seem to be fine.
Mailboxes sizes are regulated by the Postal Service as well but they also can be installed in many different ways.
From simply nailing it to a wooden block nailed to the post, to encasing it in a stone pier with a light on top.
The mountings are only limited by your imagination.
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