With Warmer Temperatures, Now is the Time to
Reinforce your Mailbox for our Next Winter Blast
The Indiana Department of
Transportation is recommending that residents along state and U.S. highways make
good use of the warmer temperatures to prepare their mailboxes for our next
Snow and ice removal is INDOT’s number one priority in the winter months. INDOT’s
yellow plow trucks often travel slower than the speed limit. INDOT snowfighters
are careful to avoid mailboxes, but despite their best efforts, the weight of snow
thrown from plows can cause damage to mailboxes with weak supports.
Property owners are responsible for
installing and maintaining mailboxes on state highway right of way. If a
mailbox is placed as far from the edge of the road as the carrier can reach
from a vehicle and the mailbox is placed on a sturdy support, it should be able
to withstand the force of snow thrown from a plow.
Keeping access areas near the mailbox clear of snow can help ensure safer
delivery of mail and reduce the amount of snow coming off the plow.
INDOT offers these tips to help reduce the risk of mailbox damage:
Place a 6- to 8-inch piece of reflective tape on the
mailbox to help snowfighters see it at night.
Remove snow from around your mailbox, but avoid throwing
the snow back onto the roadway. This Missouri DOT video shows how to minimize
snow being thrown onto your mailbox and driveway: https://youtu.be/8Bm7mJxJOSU
Inspect your mailbox. Make sure it is firmly supported in
the ground and check
for deteriorated wooden posts and rusted metal posts. Also, make sure your
mailbox is securely mounted to the post. Check the mounts for rust and wear as
If possible, avoid plastic mailboxes. Some plastic
mailboxes have a tendency to shatter in cold
If your mailbox continues to get knocked down, you may
want to consider changing the location of the mailbox. Sometimes moving
the mailbox a few feet in either direction can help.
INDOT is not able to repair damaged
mailboxes. Homeowners who have followed these tips in the past and have still
experienced mailbox damage should check local hardware stores for a snow shield
protectors (as shown in the photo) for your mailbox or install a swinging mailbox support that will swing the mailbox out
of harm’s way.