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Replace or Repair? Maintaining Your Community Mailboxes

Repairs are always something that property owners must deal with. However, keeping a property well-maintained doesn’t just keep residential and commercial tenants happy and signing new leases each year. It is also required by law and is a vital part in safety.

There are many things that must be maintained if you own a property. The good news is that mailboxes are not especially difficult to maintain in most cases. However, it can be tricky when trying to determine whether to repair a mailbox setup or to replace it.

This guide will help you determine whether you should repair or replace a mailbox, or an entire centralized mailbox system.

Centralized Mailboxes: When To Repair

Most centralized mailboxes today are of the newer 4C horizontal type or the older, outdated 4B types. These mailboxes are designed for centralized mail delivery for both residential properties with multiple families and for commercial properties with more than one business.

The newer 4C mailboxes are especially sturdy, and it is unlikely that they will need many, if any repairs in the near future. These mailboxes consist of one sturdy cabinet that holds multiple customer units, and they can come as freestanding models, wall-mounted models, and recessed models. Locks are very secure

If the mailboxes on your property consist of horizontal customer units contained inside a cabinet, they are likely of the 4C type. This is the type now required for new installations on all properties that use centralized mail delivery.

If the unlikely happens and a 4C unit is damaged or breaks, it is possible to repair or replace only one part of the unit. This can include tenant doors, parcel locker doors, individual locks, and even the cabinet itself. The aluminum plates for tenant doors can also be easily purchased and replaced in the event they were to fall off or become too worn to read. Repairs must be carried out, or the USPS will not deliver to damaged customer compartments.

Doors and locks can also be purchased for older 4B horizontal mailboxes and vertical 4B mailboxes, provided the repairs will not be too extensive and the damage won’t prevent USPS delivery. These mailboxes typically have square or vertical compartments, and can come as pedestal-mounted models or as wall-mounted models.

Centralized Mailboxes: When To Replace

The replacement of centralized mailboxes, thankfully, doesn’t have to happen very often. These mailboxes are mostly replaced when two conditions are met. One, the unit is an older model that does not fall under the USPS-4C requirements. And second, the area around these mailboxes is being heavily renovated.

If these two conditions happen together, a property owner is required to replace the older 4B mailboxes with newer 4C models as part of that renovation. This means choosing an appropriate 4C horizontal setup. Replacement with a 4C unit is also required when the new mailboxes are being installed in a different location than the old ones.

For example, if an apartment building relies on several 4B vertical mailboxes spread between buildings, and the owner wants to switch to one centralized system in the apartment lobby, then new 4C mailboxes must be purchased for USPS delivery to take place. The owner cannot simply move the old 4B mailboxes into the lobby.

There is one exception that allows the replacement of 4B mailboxes with the same type, however. If the new 4B mailboxes are of the exact type as the old ones, and they are being installed in the exact same location as the old units, and no major renovations are taking place, then this is acceptable for USPS delivery.

The great news is that once 4C mailboxes are installed, it is unlikely they will need to be replaced for a very long time, as they are sturdy, resistant to weathering, and resistant to damage.

Curbside Mailboxes: When to Repair

Repairing curbside mailboxes can be a simple affair, and this works the best when just one part is damaged. Curbside mailboxes typically have a post, the compartment itself, address stickers or plaques, and a flag. Some mailboxes also come with locks. Any single part can become damaged while leaving the rest of the mailbox unit intact.

This is true whether the curbside boxes are for a single property or for an entire community. Repairs can often be taken out with multi-unit curbside boxes as well, which are common in multi-family communities. If one customer compartment gets damaged, it may only be necessary to purchase and mount a new compartment to the unit to resume mail delivery.

A broken post can be replaced if the mailbox itself is intact, and can be mounted back in place. Address plaques and stickers can also replace old ones that have fallen off, and accessories such as toppers can also be re-purchased and put back onto the mailbox.

Curbside Mailboxes: When to Replace

Curbside mailboxes are the most prone to needing replacement due to their location and design. They are most likely to be damaged by vehicles or vandals.

If a mailbox is struck by a vehicle and completely knocked over, it will be best to replace it so that the tenant can continue to receive USPS delivery. Replacement should be done quickly, and the good news is that kits are available to put together a new mailbox, whether it is a single mailbox or a multi-unit curbside box.

Another good time to replace curbside mailboxes is when curb appeal needs a boost. Sometimes, painting a mailbox can help, but there are a variety of attractive models that can fit the vibe of a condominium community well or can enhance the look of a residential property. Mailboxes add to the first impression that prospective renters will get when they see a community or property for the first time.

We’re Here For Your Repair and Replacement Needs

Whether a mailbox has taken only light damage from bad luck or vandalism or whether it’s been destroyed by a rogue vehicle, we are here to make sure you get mail delivery up and running again. For all of your repair and replacement needs, no matter what type of mailbox you manage, contact us today to find the right solution for you.