Aluminum Mailboxes

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Are you weighing the pros and cons of wrought iron, brass, copper, galvanized steel, and aluminum mailboxes? If so, chances are that you already know perfectly well what a powerful design element mailboxes are. If you didn't--remember, I'm working with the odds--you wouldn't be reading this. Function and form come together, whether at the end of the driveway or on the porch.

The Virtues of Aluminum Mailboxes

The great advantage to aluminum mailboxes is that they'll never rust. For extreme climatic conditions--whether subzero temperatures, desert air, or ocean breezes--they're ideal. Powder-coated aluminum is remarkable durable. Powder-coating refers to a method of painting, in which the aluminum or steel is electrically charged while the paint is applied. The result is an especially strong bond between paint and metal, thanks to the electricity.

Because of this process, aluminum mailboxes come in a great many more colors and finishes than the slightly dull, off-silver color most of us associate with the word aluminum. Cast aluminum, furthermore, means an equally wide variety of forms and styling. Whether you're thinking of a black wrought-iron Victorian post and box, or an antique bronze Edwardian porch-mount, you'll never know the difference between an original and a cast aluminum replica (which will cost less and last longer).

Most commercial mailboxes are made of aluminum because of its durability and long-term resistance to such a variety of weather conditions. Think about the pedestal mailbox units at larger apartment and condominium complexes, of the letter drops in city office buildings and government buildings. Almost without exception, what you're seeing is aluminum. With a high weight-to-strength ratio, aluminum not only takes well to finishes and resist severe weather conditions, but is also fairly easily worked.

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