Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
There’s something exciting about getting snail mail, but your weather-worn mailbox deserves some love too. Give it some U.S. Post Office-approved TLC by repairing hinges, knocking out dents, checking for rusty screws, and adding a metal sealant to protect it from future rust. Your mailman will get excited too — or at least appreciate it.
What's in it for you?
- Extended mailbox lifespan
- Neighborhood envy
- No lost mail
Repair Mailbox Damage:
Make sure the door opens properly. Open and close your mailbox a few times. If it squeaks or struggles to open, tighten the screws. If the hinges are damaged, replace them with new ones.
Repair any damage to the door to prevent it from falling open. When you run your hand across the door’s surface, does it feel bent or dented? If so, take the door off its hinges and place it on a solid workbench. Tap it with a rubber mallet to bend it back into shape. You don’t want your mail escaping your mailbox because your the door fell open.
Undent dented mailbox walls. Keep the elements out of your mailbox by using a rubber mallet to pop external dents back into place. For concave dents (those bending inward), use a small metal hammer that fits in the mailbox. Tap gently, but firmly, on these dents to pop them back out.
Perfect all the screws on the mailbox body. Tighten the connecting bolts on the corners of your mailbox. Replace any rusty screws, which can fall out of your mailbox or spread rust to the body of the box.
Seal your mailbox’s surface. For a cosmetic upgrade that doubles as rust prevention, repaint the mailbox first with a coat of paint and then with a coat of metal sealant (once the paint is dry). But be careful about regulations - some areas have restrictions on paint type and color. You can generally find these with a quick google search or by contacting USPS directly.
Pro Tip: A piece of cloth between the mailbox surface and your hammer or mallet protects the box from getting more damaged.