There are about 52 million curbside mailboxes in the United States, according to the United States Postal Service. Unfortunately, many of these mailboxes face damage caused by inclement weather, inattentive drivers or other unexpected incidents that can make mail delivery more challenging. While it is unrealistic to think all harmful accidents to mailboxes can be prevented, homeowners can minimize the time a damaged mailbox is out of commission by making the necessary repairs in a timely manner.
There are many fun and creative ways to spruce up a broken down mailbox with brick, stone, paint, stain and other artistic materials, but it all starts by securing the mailbox post firmly in the ground. Without a well-grounded post, the decorative or aesthetic value of a mailbox could be short-lived. Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix doesn't require any mixing and reaches a strength of 4,000 pounds per square inch in two hours, making it a popular material for setting a variety of posts including mailboxes, fences and basketball goals.
Steps for setting a post
When working with cement-based products, always wear eye protection and waterproof gloves.
* Dig a hole that is three times the width of the post and one-third to a half the length of the post, and pour six inches of all-purpose gravel into the bottom of the hole.
* Put the post into the hole and attach 2-by-4 wood braces to the adjacent sides of the post before using a level to position the post perfectly vertical.
* Fill the hole with Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix within three to four inches from the top of the hole.
* Pour up to one gallon of water into the hole until is soaks into the dry concrete mix and allow the concrete to set for 20 to 40 minutes.
* Wait four hours before placing a mailbox or other heavy objects on the post.
The same fast-setting material can also be used to pour sidewalks, patios, driveways and other concrete surfaces that homeowners anticipate experiencing pedestrian or vehicle traffic quickly.
Pouring a concrete slab
* Construct a form from 2-by-4 lumber, place and compact three to four inches of gravel inside the form as a base, and dampen the form and gravel.
* Place the recommended amount of water into the mixer and then gradually add the concrete mix into the mixer with the water until it is the appropriate consistency. Do not mix more concrete than can be placed in 10 minutes.
* Pour the concrete mix evenly into the form until it is two to three inches above the top of the form.
* Strike off excess concrete using the screed board back, float the surface with a trowel and apply non-slick broom finish.
* Remove the form from the concrete slab using an edger and wait four hours before placing any heavy objects or allowing foot traffic.
For more information, products, tips and how-to videos on setting a mailbox post and other home improvement projects, visit www.quikrete.com, like on Facebook follow on Twitter.