Heavy-duty Mailboxes

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Steel and cast aluminum win hands down in the bidding for materials in heavy-duty mailboxes, there's no question. If you're buying one for your house, you'll be getting a mailbox that will stand up as well as anything to vandals, bad drivers, and falling tree limbs. There are no guarantees, of course, but both are good choices for heavy-duty mailboxes.

About Heavy-Duty Mailboxes

A first-rate 11- or 12-gauge premium steel mailbox will withstand up to about 14,000 to 20,000 pounds. Neither a baseball bat nor a pickup truck will make much of a dent on quality heavy-duty mailboxes. If you're looking for that kind of durability, then think Pittsburgh steel. (It needn't be from Pittsburgh, but you get the idea.) Cast aluminum is also especially strong, with an impressive weight-to-strength ratio you might not expect. Both are good options.

If you're concerned about whether a heavy-duty mailbox of galvanized steel or cast aluminum might be more an eyesore rather than a powerful design element, have no fear. You might prefer a customized paint job, or an antique or verdigris finish, if your mailbox will stand on its own merits atop a stylized decorative post at the end of the drive. Perhaps it will be built into a stone or brick or stucco column.

Thanks to high-technology finishing techniques, steel and aluminum welcome paint and finish jobs that will stand up to the elements and other conditions extremely well. Powder coating, for example, is a technique in which paint is applied to metal while the metal is electrically charged. The result is a paint or finish that adheres particularly well. That means a mailbox that will last up to 20 or 30 years in all kinds of harsh climatic conditions, from desert sun to sub-zero temperatures to salt air.

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