Like the trees that wooden posts are made from, wood mailbox posts are subject to damage by wood rot and pests such as termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles (Lyctinae), and nesting carpenter bees.
If you are a homeowner in need of replacing a rotten mailbox post or if you are thinking of installing a new wooden mailbox post, this article offers a number of mailbox post options and tips to help you save time and money.
Metal Mailbox Posts
Of course, if all factors are considered, the best wood for a mailbox post may not be wood at all. Metal mailbox posts crafted of cast aluminum will not only be completely insect resistant and free of dry rot for life, but metal mailbox posts also will not rust, even in areas along the ocean where salt in the air constantly attacks metal objects. As the nation’s leading retailer of mailboxes (and mailbox posts), The MailboxWorks offers many cast aluminum mailbox posts in a variety of attractive colors including Special Lite mailbox posts, and Architectural Mailboxes mailbox posts.
Matching Mailbox and Mailbox Post
Of course, if one already has a well-made post mount mailbox from one of the MailboxWork’s key brands such as Architectural Mailboxes, Bobi, Ecco, Gaines, Imperial Systems, Streetscape, or Whitehall Mailboxes, then one should strongly consider simply replacing the old mailbox post with a replacement mailbox post that matches the particular mailbox brand. The MailboxWorks carries nearly two dozen different kinds of replacement mailbox posts that are designed to complement MailboxWork’s brands (and all the assembly hardware is included with your mailbox post purchase). They even carry mailbox and post sets.
Composite Mailbox Post
Another mailbox post idea that outperforms wooden posts is a composite wood post (like Trek) that is often used in deck building. Like their cast aluminum counterparts, these plastic composite mailbox posts are immune to insects, rust, and weather conditions that typically damage or destroy wooden mailbox post materials. If one has a composite post left over from a deck project and the tools available to customize the composite post for a mailbox installation, a composite wood mailbox post will perform excellently.
Wooden Mailbox Post Types
For those who desire the natural beauty and strength of real wood there are five key types of wood one should consider when replacing or installing a new wood mailbox post. Wooden mailbox posts have stunning wood grain patterns and ability to shape into any form desired.
At the top of the list are wood species that have the highest rot resistance over time such as Teak, Ipe (pronounced ee-pay), or Black Locus (also called stone wood).
Ipe Wood Posts – Used in the construction of the famous Coney Island boardwalk, Brazilian walnut or Ipe (pronounced ee-pay) is most often found in Central America, Brazil, and Florida. Ipe wood is so dense that it refuses to float, but its density also makes it highly resistant to pest infestation. However, this same high density also makes Ipe wood posts difficult to work with. Holes must be predrilled in Ipe wood and its density makes it impervious to stain. While some try to varnish it to preserve its stunning colors, Ipe wood posts won’t hold varnish well in outdoor conditions and will turn a light silvery grey color over time (usually between the first and second year). While Ipe can be used for wood mailbox posts, the expense in both acquisition of the wood and labor for installation can be cost prohibitive.
Teak Wood Posts – Teak wood is similar to Ipe in its resistance to pests and ability to resist challenging climate conditions. Although Teak wood is easier to work with than Ipe wood, Teak will also weather to a grey color when left untreated. Additionally, June 2015 lumber prices reveal that teak wood posts are more than twice as expensive as Ipe, making Teak wood a rare choice for use as a Teak mailbox post.
Black Locus Wood Posts – Frequently used for masts in shipbuilding in earlier eras, black locust wood is also hard, durable, and famous for its longevity. However, black locust wood posts can be difficult to source in a typical 4”x4” mailbox post size. Utilizing black locus wood naturally, rather than having it first milled or split, can maximize the longevity of black locus wood posts.
Other Wood Mailbox Post Types – Additional wood types that do well in exterior applications such as wooden mailbox posts include cypress, redwood, and cedar wood. Among these species, cedar wood is highly recommended by The MailboxWorks for wood mailbox post applications.
Cedar Wood Posts – Unlike the harder woods above, cedar is easy to work with, easy to find, affordable, and resists both rot and infestation. Additionally, one does not have to custom craft a cedar wood mailbox post, as they are readily available in three beautiful designs:
- Standard cedar post design where the mailbox rests on an arm projected from the cedar post
- A deluxe cedar post design with attractive notching and a decorative curved brace beneath the mailbox
- And a cedar post with an arm that doubles as a newspaper box, allowing the mailbox to be mounted upon the newspaper box.
All three cedar mailbox post designs come ready to install and are crafted of 100% cedar wood.