Snowed In: Snow Removal Around Residential Mailboxes Can Affect Curbside Mail Delivery

February 12, 2014 10:11 pm

Tens of thousands of curbside, post mount residential mailboxes have been snowed in this year and the United States Postal Services (USPS) has strict guidelines about snow removal around residential mailboxes.

While USPS postal carriers do brave the elements, many homeowners are no longer receiving home mail delivery due to the vast accumulations of snow that’s been packed around their post mount mailboxes.

Unwittingly, many snow plow services, in an effort to clear the roadways, are simply removing the snow from the streets and piling that snow around residential mailboxes – sometimes even completely burying the residential mailbox in a wake of snow.

According the U.S. Postal Service, postal carriers will not deliver mail if access to the curbside residential mailboxes has been impeded by the snow accumulations.

In Fort Wayne, Indiana, the Northwest Passage subdivision has not received home mail delivery for several days due to improper snow removal around their residential mailboxes.

Mr. Joe Hillyard, president of the Northwest Passage neighborhood association, stated that when the postal carriers notified him of the issue, “I called our plow service and they returned to push the snow back.”

Jerry Maidment, the owner of the snow removal service that Mr. Hillyard contacted, stated that removing snow from the areas around column mount or post mount residential mailboxes is very difficult. “Even with a big truck or a bobcat, these mounds of rock hard snow are stubborn.”  Mr. Maidment said that when his firm tries to extricate curbside residential mailboxes from the snow mounds that they often damage his equipment.

For other neighborhoods facing the same snow issue with their residential mailboxes, Mr. Hillyard and Mr. Maidment recommend that the neighborhood first contact their local postmaster for the extent of the clearances required for regular home mail delivery.

In their case, they stated that the snow removal around their residential mailboxes had to be done twice because the postal carriers had indicated that the first time snow was removed the clearances were not extensive enough to access the residential mailboxes with a postal truck.

According to the diagram given to them by the U.S. Postal Service carrier, there needs to be at least 15 feet of clearance on each side of the curbside residential mailboxes in order for mail delivery to resume.

Further instructions from the U.S. Postal service about clearing snow away from curbside column, and post mount residential mailboxes note that the postal carrier has the final discretion as to whether or not the mail can be safely delivered.

Of course, if the mail cannot be delivered due to improper snow removal around residential mailboxes, homeowners can always pick up their mail directly from the Post Office.

Clearing the snow mounds around residential mailboxes is not just a chore to assist in mail delivery but it is also quite beneficial to homeowners who attempt to collect their mail during difficult winter conditions.

And when snow removal efforts or automobile accidents cause damage to residential mailboxes as often occurs in winter conditions, The MailboxWorks, the nation’s leading retailer of residential mailboxes has a wide array of choices for replacement column mailboxes and post mount residential mailboxes. You can even find a snow plow proof mailbox.

During difficult winter conditions, if the curbside residential mailbox does need to be replaced, one does not have to permanently mount the mailbox into the frozen ground.

Instead, a temporary post mount mailbox can be erected by inserting the post into a flowerpot or even packing it with dirt or concrete until spring arrives and the snowmelt allows for a permanent mailbox installation.

And of course, if only the mailbox itself, or mailbox post is damaged, The MailboxWorks also carries replacements for both mailbox posts and curbside post mounted residential mailboxes.


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