The construction and placement of mailboxes is critical to ensure delivery of your mail and avoid damage from cars and snowplows. Use only U.S. Post Office approved mailboxes. Should you want to install a Custom Mailbox contact the local Postmaster for approval.
Mailboxes should be set so the mail carrier can safely and conveniently deliver the mail. We recommend 1 (one) foot from the edge of the road on streets with curbs and 2 (two) feet on streets without curbs. If you supply an access, either gravel or paved you may place the mailbox farther off the road. The farther off the road the mailbox sits the less likelihood it will receive damage.
Posts should be no closer than 2 (two) feet from road edge. Some of our plows extend that far from the edge of the road. Semi-arch or extended arm-type posts are recommended.
Mailboxes should be no lower than 4 (four) feet from road surface.
The Federal Highway Administration has determined that mailbox supports should be no larger than 4 inches by 4 inches in wood, or 2 inch diameter standard steel or aluminum pipe, buried no deeper than 24 inches and should safely break away if struck by a vehicle. Any supports greater than what is listed here could cause excessive damage to vehicles if struck.
The mailbox must be securely attached to its post to prevent separation if struck. Use a 1 1/2-inch thick fir or pressure treated lumber mounting to attach the mailbox to the post or arm. Use weather resistant screws or bolts to attach the mailbox and mounting to the post or arm. Do not use nails they tend to corrode and weaken their hold in the wood.
Perform seasonal inspections of the post and all hardware. Repair when necessary.
All mailboxes must have the street number displayed. This also helps the safety forces in an emergency.
Some Common Problems We Have Encountered:
Plastic mailboxes become brittle in the cold weather of Northeast Ohio. This attributes to breakage when snow comes off the snowplow trucks.
“Step 2” mailboxes require the mounting post to be in the back. If you use your present post this can cause the mailbox to be too close to the street. A new 4 X 4 post should be used on all installations. They are also brittle in the cold.
Wood mailbox enclosures rot over time and become weak. Regular maintenance is required. Use pressure treated pine or Douglas fir. These resist rotting and splitting. Cedar is weak and splits easily.
The larger the enclosure the more stress it receives from snow and slush coming off the plows.
Tell your driveway snowplower not to push the snow against or to the mailbox side of your drive. When the street plows come by it can shift the pile and cause damage to your mailbox.
Make sure your door closes securely. As the plows pass your mailbox they create a suction which can pull the door open and suck out your mail. Also when the door is open it can be damaged easily.
If you have any questions about your mailbox placement please contact the Orange Village Service Department at 440-498-4403.