Whether you own a large property such as an apartment complex or manage another multi-family community with a HOA, you know that winter can bring several challenges. Roads must be cleared, infrastructure must be maintained, and above all, tenants need a safe way to access their mail.
Providing safe and reliable mail delivery is a proven way to retain tenants and attract new ones during all times of the year. A centralized system for receiving mail and packages can provide a convenient way for tenants to receive their mail during the toughest weather of the year, and will also ease the burden of the USPS and your employees during months when sidewalks may turn icy and hazardous.
What Types of Centralized Mail Delivery Can Help?
4C mailboxes are designed to serve anywhere from a few to dozens of customers. Some come as recessed wall units (they can be installed directly into a wall) while others can simply be mounted to an indoor wall. Other 4C mailboxes come in the form of a pedestal and are designed to withstand tough weather conditions, including winter weather. These types are useful when no indoor location is available, and are installed on concrete slabs. All types of 4C mailboxes can be installed side by side, and all USPS-approved models include at least one parcel locker per ten units.
By upgrading your mail delivery system to USPS-approved, 4C mailboxes, you can improve the safety of your community by moving all mail delivery and pickup to one easy-to-access location. This could be an indoor location such as a clubhouse, a kiosk that blocks snow and ice, or on a concrete slab close to where residents park (such as in a apartment complex.)
What Benefits Do These Mailboxes Provide During The Winter?
Over a million people in the U.S. slip and fall each year, and winter weather increases these accidents. Often, icy sidewalks and parking lots are to blame, and maintaining these areas is a must during the winter months. However, surfaces can freeze quickly during the winter, making the maintenance of an entire community or complex difficult at times.
Making the switch to centralized mail delivery can help you and your employees focus on high-traffic areas, such as mailboxes, first when it comes to clearing and salting efforts. Installing 4C horizontal mailboxes in roofed kiosks and in clubhouses will naturally keep snow and ice away from these surfaces, reducing the chances of resident injury.
Pedestal mailboxes can provide some benefit as well. Placing them in a centralized location will help you more easily clear these areas of snow and ice, and can reduce the distance residents must travel to check their mail. They can be installed under overhangs and other shelters to reduce winter maintenance.
Residents, employees, and the USPS alike will appreciate the convenience of centralized delivery. Travel through cold weather will be reduced, and the USPS will not need to walk from building to building to deliver the mail. If your employees previously ran packages to residents after delivery to a community office, their own chances of a slip and fall injury will be reduced.
4C mailboxes of all types are durable and built to resist tampering, damage, and adverse weather. This reduces the need for time-consuming and costly repairs, and no one wants to carry out repairs during the coldest months of the year.
Also, by placing all mailboxes in a central place, the need for other types of maintenance will be reduced as well. No longer will an employee have to clear snow from around multiple resident mailboxes. This will save time and money for the entire community.
What Types of Centralized Mail Delivery Work The Best?
In the winter, the ideal scenario for your community or apartment complex is to provide sheltered, centralized mail delivery for residents.
Clubhouses are ideal for installing centralized mail delivery, and recessed 4C horizontal mailboxes are often seen here as these types are customizable and save space. These types of setups are sometimes called Neighborhood Delivery Centers. They offer shelter from the weather when checking mail and handling packages.
If no clubhouse is available, a kiosk will serve your community well. Horizontal 4C mailboxes an be installed in a kiosk as well, and while these setups are not completely sheltered, they will help to keep snow and ice off the walking surfaces under its roof, allowing for safe and convenient mail delivery.
Pedestal 4C mailboxes will also work well if no other central area is available. They can be installed on existing concrete slabs, or new ones can be poured. These slabs can be easily cleared and maintained, especially when installed beside one another. The benefit of these mailbox types is that they can be installed anywhere outdoors that is easily accessible, such as next to a parking lot or near the front of a community.
For all 4C mailbox types, additional parcel lockers can be purchased to meet your community’s package needs. At least one parcel locker is required for every ten customer units.
Some Maintenance Is Required
You’ll be responsible for maintaining any centralized mailbox system you install for your community, and this means not only repairs but keeping the area around the centralized system clear and easy to access. This may mean clearing and salting sidewalks, but is a small amount of work compared to clearing the path to multiple curbside mailboxes. In the case of a HOA, residents can even share the responsibility for clearing and salting around centralized mailboxes, if it’s needed. Regardless of who is managing the complex or property, switching to a centralized delivery system will save time for everyone involved.
How To Start Fighting Back Against Winter
If snow, ice, and cold are making mail delivery slow and difficult, or if you would like to reduce the likelihood of injuries, making the switch to centralized 4C mailboxes and parcel lockers is a smart step.
We’re here to help you figure out which mailbox type will make winter delivery and mail pickup easier for you and your community. Contact us today to get started.