So Just What Does ‘Winterizing Your Mailbox’ Mean?
I get a lot of good, interesting, and informational press releases from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT.) There's always something going on that we need to pass along to the Whale Nation whether you live or work in Pennsylvania, or you plan on driving into the state for whatever reason.
This week, I received a press release about the upcoming winter and urging PA homeowners to winterize their mailboxes. This made me a bit curious since I didn't exactly know what that meant.
Is Your Mailbox In The Correct Location?
As I scanned over the press release I began to understand what it all meant. First off, PennDOT (and I imagine the State of New York probably has the same guidelines) suggests that you make sure your mailbox is in the correct location.
PennDOT recommends that your mailbox be placed as far from the shoulder of the roadway as your mail carrier can reach from their vehicle. Be sure the mailbox is on a solid support and can withstand snow hitting it from a snowplow.
That helps make things more efficient for your mail carriers and the snowplow operators. If you've had your mailbox hit by a snowplow blade, you know what a pain that can be replacing it in the dead of winter. That makes life more difficult for your mail carrier, and you may end up having to pick up your mail at the Post Office.
Who Is Responsible For Damages To Your Mailbox?
"PennDOT allows property owners to place mailboxes within the limits of the legal right-of-way along state-owned roadways out of respect for the U.S. Postal Service’s need to deliver the mail and the mailbox customer’s convenience of delivery. But because some mailboxes are located in the legal right-of-way, damages are the responsibility of the property owner."
Other ways to ensure your mailbox survives the winter according to PennDOT, include regularly clearing the snow from your mailbox, But, don't toss the snow in the roadway. Also, make your mailbox more visible for snowplows and mail carriers with reflective tape on it or something similar that would make it stand out, and finally, check the mailbox supports regularly to make sure it's still solid.
That's how you successfully winterize your mailbox. I never knew it was a thing, but it all makes sense. Now go give your mailbox some lovin'.
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