Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Iron Vs Aluminum Mailbox Post

Mailboxes in the snow.

Whether you're installing a new mailbox or replacing an old one, it might be a good idea to put some thought into the post material you are planning to use. Many homeowners choose against using wood products for their mailbox posts and choose posts made out of materials like iron or aluminum, but there are many differences between the two that should be considered. Does this Spark an idea?


According to Chemicool.com, the Earth's crust is 5.6 percent iron so we don't have to worry about using a scarce material. Iron is also a very strong material, that's why you see it used in so many construction applications. And according to science.jrank.org, when iron is paired with concrete, it creates the strongest combination of all available building materials.


According to Chemicool.com, "pure aluminum is quite soft," and it lacks strength. And when it's "used in commercial applications, has small amounts of silicon and iron added, resulting in greatly improved strength and hardness." Because aluminum is inexpensive and corrosion-resistant, it's used abundantly, and according to Chemicool.com, "only iron is used more widely than aluminum."


While iron is used in more applications than aluminum, this doesn't necessarily mean that it's easier to work with. In the case of installing a mailbox post, which is a fairly simple task, some things to consider are product weight and maneuverability. Because aluminum is a lighter metal, it's going to be easier to move around. And if you are going to have to penetrate the material with a screw to secure your mailbox, aluminum will be much easier to do so. Also, if for some reason you need to cut the post, aluminum will be much friendlier in this process.

Weather Impact

Because mailboxes are exposed to everything Mother Nature has to throw at them, it's important to look at how each metal will hold up outside. According to Corrosion-Doctors.org, "only iron and steel rust," while other metals corrode. And since aluminum doesn't, perhaps this is something you want to consider. There are outdoor paints that help with rusting metals, but then you may have to repaint your iron post once a year.


Since mailboxes are exposed to cars, trees and unruly teenagers, you may want to take a look at which metal can take more abuse. While a fallen tree, car accident or mailbox baseball will surely damage your mailbox, you may want your post to remain standing after your mailbox has suffered a traumatic experience. If this is the case, an iron post is the way to go because it's more likely to inflict damage on a intruder than to receive any damage itself.

Tags: your mailbox, According Chemicool, aluminum will, aluminum will much, Because aluminum