Of all the diverse parts of your mailbox, the door is the part which will suffer the most wear and tear.
The doors of wooden mailboxes are particularly prone to being eaten by termites and woodworm which have managed to progress up the post, while metal doors – even supposedly weatherproof ones – are often subject to rust.
Plastic mailbox doors can be dented from repeated impact or even cracked by the heat of the sun. Replacing mailbox doors might seem simple enough, but there are several things you need to consider.
When purchasing mailbox replacements of any kind, it’s important to think about how the materials in your mailbox will interact.
This is especially important with doors, as they get banged about against the body of the box, which can lead to scratching.
A scratched aluminum door or an aluminum box scratched by a steel door will rapidly corrode, turning dull and sometimes cracking.
Similarly, a metal door on a stone or brick mailbox will inevitably rust, though this may take some time to happen and you can delay it by using paint or sprays to give the door a protective coating.
A metal door on a wooden mailbox can chip the surface of the wood, damaging protective sealants and allowing rot to get a grip.
Be careful not to choose a door which is too heavy for your mailbox. Lighter mailboxes, such as plastic ones, may seem okay to begin with but can gradually be warped and damaged due to the strain of supporting a heavy door.
This can lead to the door jamming and chewing up mail. You should also be careful, when selecting the right size of door, to allow room for and difference in the size of the hinges.
Be careful to clean up the old hinges before you fit the new door, to avoid rust spreading to the new ones.
Mailbox replacements should always be approached with care, but there’s nothing it’s more important to get right than the door. A careful purchase could give you years more before you have to replace it again.