Although a large chunk of today’s mail comes in electronic form, physical mailboxes still remain an important part of any residential or commercial property. As such, if yours is in bad shape, perhaps it is time to consider mailbox repair services.
Mailbox Repair: Professional Services vs Independent Handyman
If you have a damaged mailbox, it is easy to forget to find time to get it fixed. After all, you probably receive most of your mail online. And, in the grand scheme of things, repairing your mailbox probably does not fall at the top of your priority list.
But, broken mailboxes can quickly start to become a hassle — not only for you but also for the person who delivers your mail. Soon enough, you are looking at a mountain of unopened letters and notices as well as past-due bills.
If you have some time to kill, it might cross your mind to just repair your mailbox yourself with the help of your neighbor’s tools and a YouTube tutorial. But, things can go sour in an instant, and you might end up doing more damage than good.
Between a local handyman and a professional service company, though, which one should you hire? Let’s compare both options below.
First of all, when it comes to licensing, your local handyman most likely does not have the proper certifications. And while you don’t really need one to repair a mailbox or perform other minor tasks, people have an easier time trusting a service with credentials.
Expertise and Experience
An independent handyman might have experience dealing with damaged mailboxes, but it is definitely nothing compared to the vast expertise of professional maintenance specialists.
Plus, professional services usually have more experience repairing different kinds of mailboxes as opposed to the few that your local handyman has fixed.
Here are the types of mailboxes professionals know how to repair and maintain:
- Curbside Mailboxes. Also known as post-mounted mailboxes, these mailboxes usually stand next to the sidewalk or road. It is most common in suburban areas.
- Wall-mounted Mailboxes. As the name describes, these mailboxes appear mounted on the wall outside of the property. More often than not, you will see these mailboxes in more urban locations.
- Lock and Key Mailboxes. These mailboxes require a key to open and usually come in clusters. You will usually find this type of mailbox in business locations, apartments, condominiums, and even some homeowners associations. It is important to note that lock and key mailboxes may also be wall-mounted or posted curbside.
- Door Slots. Also known as mail slots, these are rectangular holes on front doors where postal workers can slide your mail in.
Additionally, with professional services, you don’t have to worry much about further damage. Again, it really boils down to expertise and skill.
Parts and Pieces
Professional services have access to all sorts of tools as well as different mailbox parts. So, if your mailbox needs some of its parts replaced, a service company can simply find the best ones that match. In comparison, an independent handyman may not have the required parts and might need to replace the entire mailbox altogether. This equates to added cost on your part.
Requirements for Mailboxes
Believe it or not, the United States Postal Service has certain regulations concerning mailboxes that you must follow. For instance, lock and key mailboxes must have slots big enough to take in the usual volume of mail the owner receives. Door slots, on the other hand, must have outside slot plates that measure at least 1-1/2 inches wide and 7 inches long.
Apart from USPS regulations, some communities may impose additional requirements. This usually applies to properties that belong in a homeowners association. Generally, HOAs have committees that decide on the type of mailboxes you can have as well as any other measurements or specifications. These associations do this to keep the uniform aesthetic of the neighborhood, maintain curb appeal, and protect property values.
The Cost of Mailbox Repair Services
There are a number of factors that can influence the cost of repairing your mailbox. These include the condition of your mailbox, whether there are any parts that need replacing, and the company you ultimately hire. The average cost, though, sits at $285. It is also worth noting that independent handymen tend to charge a lower price because they are not licensed professionals.
How to Maintain Your Mailbox
Mailbox maintenance is easy and can significantly save you money on repairs. But, what exactly can you do to keep your mailbox looking and working great? Here are some tips:
- Wash your mailbox regularly. Warm water mixed with a disinfectant works well, but make sure to wear gloves while you clean. Scrub the cleaning solution onto the fixture before rinsing it off with water.
- Inspect your mailbox on a regular basis to quickly identify any burgeoning issues.
- Test out whether the mailbox door opens effortlessly and does not have any gaps or openings when closed.
- Make sure the red flag remains in its upright position when you turn it that way.
- Check to see whether the post is anchored steadily in the ground.
- Remove any insect nests and other debris. Trimming the grass that surrounds the mailbox post is a good way to ward away insects.
- If your mailbox has stick-on numbers, see to it that they remain secure. Replace old numbers with new ones when they start to peel away. For painted-on numbers, make sure to re-paint when the old coat starts to fade. This way, postal workers can see your address in an instant.
The Final Word
It is easy to overlook the condition of your mailbox in the midst of the busy happenings in your life. But, considering how mail is an important part of your daily life, it must not be put on the back burner. Make sure to maintain your mailbox the best you can. Inspect it for any problems on a regular basis. And, if you spot any damages, have them repaired as soon as possible. This will prevent the problem from worsening and save you a lot of money in the process.
For expert mailbox repair, though, it is best to go with professional services over a local handyman or a DIY approach. Maintenance Specialists Inc. offers fast and reliable mailbox repair services in addition to a wealth of other services. Call us today at 704.405.6000 or contact us online to get a free estimate.
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