According to a local meteorologist, Central Indiana set a record last winter with over 55.7 inches of snow from November 11th 2013 to April 15th, 2014. Now if you’re anything like us, you live in a state of complete denial every time the word “winter” is even used. But most of you live in the state of Indiana and whether we like it or not, winter is quickly approaching. With that being said, Otto’s would like to share a few tips we’ve learned along the way that will protect your mailbox and help to ensure your unit can withstand the pressure of mounting snow. Before bad weather begins, be proactive and try these 6 simple steps.
- Wash and wax your mailbox. Remove the mailbox from the post, use simple dish washing soap with warm water and thoroughly wash both the inside and out. Then apply a thin coat of regular car wax to the entire box. The wax helps protect the paint finish similar to your vehicle.
- Check the stability of your post by making sure it is secure in the ground. If it’s loose, buy a bag of gravel mix from your local home improvement store and pack it down around the base at ground level. Caulk any holes &/or cracks in the arm or support brace to keep out moisture and strengthen their bond to the main post.
- When you replace the mailbox onto the post, there will be pieces of wood that the mailbox screws into. Check to make sure that these mounting boards are not loose or rotting. Those are supplies that you can purchase from Otto’s or at any home improvement store
- If your mailbox door falls open, you may need to adjust it. Using a pair of pliers, bend the inside lip at the top of the door up to tighten it or down to loosen it. Mailboxes with a stainless steel latch do not have the inside lip but the same concept applies. The top piece of the latch can be bent slightly up or down in order to realign it with the bottom piece. If the door still has issues, that particular latch can be easily replaced and purchased from Otto’s with shipment the next business day.
- If you live in a dimly lit area or on a rural road, you may want to install reflectors on your mailbox and post. The Department of Transportation recommends using blue or clear reflectors as opposed to red or orange because those are often confused for tail lights. You want your unit to be easily seen in the dark or during heavy snow.
- Lastly, keep the area around your mailbox clear of snow piles or any debris. The less you have around the post itself, the less likely your mailbox will become a casualty of a snow plow. Hire a young neighborhood entrepreneur or one of your grand kids to shovel snow and it ends up being a win-win scenario.
As for Otto’s, we don’t wash mailboxes or shovel snow but we would be happy to perform the post maintenance on the mailbox unit for you. We can check the stability of your post, caulk any cracks, inspect the mounting boards (and replace if necessary) and adjust your door handle. We pride ourselves on being a one-stop-shop and we strive to make life easier for our customers. Please let us know how we can help you protect your investment this winter.