Most people don’t put much thought into their mailbox, but it’s more important than you might think. Not only can the right type of mailbox help deter mail theft, but it also plays a major role in your home’s curb appeal.
Next time you’re tasked with choosing mailbox materials, stop and think it through instead of just grabbing the first one your see. The following comparison will help you choose the best mailbox material for your needs.
Choosing Mailbox Materials: A Quick Overview of Your Options
When it comes to mailboxes, there are many different types of materials to choose from. However, the most common options are wood, plastic, aluminum, or steel. Here’s a look at each.
Wooden mailboxes are perfect if you want to add a homey and rustic look to your home. While they were popular in the past, few homeowners choose a full wood option anymore. The biggest reason is that termites can easily eat away to them and they can warp from the natural moisture outdoors.
However, a mix of wood and metal is a creative option that will create a unique look. Some homeowners also decide to use wood to create a natural design, even integrating planters or vines into their freestanding mail stations.
Most plastic mailboxes are made from polypropylene. They’re sturdy, durable, and easy to maintain. Many homeowners prefer this option because they won’t rust and they’re easy to maintain.
Although plastic is usually the most inexpensive option, cheap plastic mailboxes will crack and fade and they’ll look… well… cheap. If you get a high-quality one, it will have an ultraviolet inhibiting coating that helps it resist fading caused by the sun’s rays and other weather conditions.
Aluminum mailboxes are also strong and durable, as well as being attractive and lightweight. They generally won’t corrode or rust if they have a powder-coated finish that will help them last longer.
Steel mailboxes are a bit heavier but are otherwise very similar to aluminum options. So, what’s the difference, and why would you choose one material over the other? Let’s take a closer look.
Pros and Cons of Steel Mailboxes
For outdoor mail delivery, steel mailboxes are likely the most economical option. They’re also the most durable.
However, steel is susceptible to being scratched, dinged, or bent. It will maintain its structural integrity, but there’s a good chance that it will start to look beat up after a couple of years. Lower-quality steel mailboxes may also start to rust when exposed to the moisture and salt in the air.
If you want to keep the front of your home looking nice, you’ll need to keep an eye on your steel mailbox and be willing to replace it when it starts to look like it’s seen better days.
Brushed stainless steel looks classy and holds up to the elements fairly well. It’s very heavy and durable and will last a long time, particularly if it’s covered with a powder coat inside and out.
This material works well for oceanfront properties but shouldn’t be kept near a pool. The chlorine will compromise the powder coating, which could lead to rust.
Galvanized steel is another option that is extremely durable. These mailboxes are coated with a thin layer of zinc which makes it able to stand up to most of the elements – except saltwater. If you live near the beach and you want a steel mailbox, then stainless is your best option.
Pros and Cons of Aluminum Mailboxes
An aluminum mailbox will cost you a bit more upfront, but you can expect it to last longer than a steel one. Regular aluminum is very lightweight and generally durable. However, it’s best for short-term use and is best in milder climates.
A cast aluminum mailbox is a great choice because it comes in a variety of different finishes, often comes with intricate details, and is easy to accessorize. It’s also heavier than regular aluminum. Cast aluminum is less likely to rust, making this a good choice for homes that are located in wet climates and areas that have harsh weather conditions.
Aluminum mailboxes, particularly cast ones, require very little maintenance. The powder coating should keep it from oxidizing, so all you’ll need to do is hose it down with water every once in a while.
Customizing Your Mailbox
One advantage of both aluminum and steel is that both are very versatile. Both materials are easy to mold, so they’re available in many different shapes and styles. You can choose a traditional style or have one made that’s completely customized to the style of your home.
They can be kept simple and classic, or you can make them as ornate as your imagination allows.
Both steel and aluminum can be painted or covered with a wide variety of finishes. This means you can create a look that’s perfect for your needs while still enjoying all the advantages that come with these high-quality materials.
Choose Your New Mailbox Today!
Now that you know all the most important facts that go into choosing mailbox materials, you’re ready to invest in one of your own! Whether you choose a steel or aluminum model, we have plenty of residential mailboxes to meet your needs.
Take a browse through our inventory and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.