Your mailbox exists to perform two functions: to collect incoming mail and to deposit outgoing mail for pickup. No matter which type of mailbox you have, you shouldn’t have to think about whether your mailbox is doing its job. You also shouldn’t have to worry about mail theft, which is the scariest issue anyone who receives mail delivery anyone can face.
Damage and vandalism are also issues that target older mailboxes more than newer ones, which are often designed to withstand more abuse than their older counterparts. But more often, simple wear and tear can lead to a much-needed mailbox replacement.
Here are some good signs that it’s time to invest in a new mailbox or centralized mailbox system.
You Need to Improve Curb Appeal. Mailboxes are often one of the first things prospective buyers and renters will see when investigating a property that’s up for sale and rent. In many cases, they are literally on the curb, especially if they are curbside mailboxes.
Single-family homes often have wall-mounted or curbside mailboxes, and these are the most easily worn or damaged types. Both typically face the street.
Rental properties, commercial complexes, and multi-family communities more often have centralized mailboxes, and older models can wear out, with peeling paint, dents, and graffiti in some cases. Some older models can look unsightly, and this can lower curb appeal since these mailboxes are typically near the front of a property, in a lobby, or in a central location. Perhaps there is a better location for these mailboxes where they would appear more attractive, such as a custom-built kiosk that matches the property’s palette.
A worn, damaged, or outdated mailbox of any type will lower your curb appeal and your property’s value. This is true no matter which type of mailbox you have on your property.
Newer mailboxes offer a wide range of colors and styles, especially for curbside and wall-mounted models. Different finishes are also available, and the good news is that curbside mailboxes can easily add to curb appeal with toppers, address plaques, and mail sleeves. It’s also important to ensure that the mailbox complements the home. Avoid mixing colors that don’t go well with each other.
Security Could Improve. Lost packages and stolen mail are a big problem for larger rental properties which make use of centralized mailboxes. Sometimes, tenants will complain of lost mail and package theft. This can lead to tenant turnover, both for residential and commercial properties. Turnover can cost thousands of dollars to a property owner.
If your tenants are complaining about lost packages, new mailboxes may be in order. You may have the outdated 4B centralized mailboxes on your property, and these typically don’t offer parcel lockers, and aren’t as sturdy as the new, 4C models. The 4C line of mailboxes often include parcel lockers for holding packages from the USPS and have a more tamper-proof design. They also come in powder-coated finishes, which greatly reduces weathering and improves the look of the mailboxes.
How do you know if you have the old 4B mailboxes? Look for square compartments and the lack of parcel lockers. These mailboxes sometimes suffer from peeling paint and obvious wear. Other 4B mailboxes have vertical compartments. The new 4C models have horizontal, locking compartments and should have at least one parcel locker per ten units. For apartments, you’ll need one locker for every five customers for USPS delivery.
Multi-unit curbside mailboxes (where there is more than one mailbox per post or set of posts) don’t accommodate anything but the smallest packages, so if theft is an issue with these, it may be worth getting new mailboxes. These can be centralized mailboxes or locking curbside mailboxes.
You Travel Often. If you have a wall-mounted or curbside mailbox, you may notice that it fills up quickly with mail and can overflow, particularly if you are often out of town. If overflow is an issue, consider getting a newer, larger curbside or wall-mounted mailbox.
Larger mailboxes are also good for small businesses, and for those who cannot check mail often due to mobility issues. Many of these units also lock, adding an extra layer of security. They can cost a bit more than standard mailboxes, however, but may be worth the investment.
There’s Obvious Damage. Some mailbox types are more prone to damage than others. Curbside mailboxes take the most abuse, being located near roads.
Weathering is another issue facing mailboxes, and parts can wear and tear over time. If you have loose doors, stuck mailbox flags, loose posts, or broken doors, it’s likely time to replace your mailbox. This can take less time than simply repairing it in some cases.
It’s especially important to replace any mailboxes broken beyond repair, since the USPS can’t deliver to heavily damaged mailboxes.
Curbside and wall-mounted mailboxes can be inexpensive if you’re looking for a basic model. Some larger models or fancier models can add to curb appeal and are also available.
Centralized mailboxes are less prone to damage, especially when investing in the new 4C, USPS-approved models. Outdated mailboxes are more likely to suffer from damage and vandalism, and if this is an issue on your property, consider getting new mailboxes.
They’re In an Odd Location. Mailboxes need to be in easy to find, central locations on a property, especially if you’re serving multiple tenants. This is usually near the front of a property or in a central place, such as near a parking lot or inside a lobby. Mailboxes also must be always accessible.
If your mailboxes are in an inconvenient location or blocking the way of other development, consider getting rid of old mailboxes to put in new ones elsewhere. Mailboxes are a great part of new renovations.
Questions? Reach Out Today. At National Mailboxes, we’re committed to making sure you choose the right mailbox for your property, community, school, or commercial complex. If you have questions about which mailbox type is right for you, or questions about installation, reach out to us today. We’re here to help.