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Many of Pingree Grove's Cambridge Lakes neighborhoods have beautiful, rough-hewn cedar mailboxes posts that are now approaching 10-15 years old. Because of Cedar's excellent resistance to rain and sunlight, these often appear to be in great condition, despite their age. For example, here is a recently replaced mailbox, shown in the area that you would customarily see (above ground):
Looks good, right? Well while Cedar is very resistant to weather above-ground, below-ground where exposed to constant soil moisture, it can deteriorate rapidly. That same post, just below ground-level, looked like this:
The crumbly bits of the post at the bottom of that picture turn to dust under the slightest pressure. So while the post looks perfect above-ground, the structure of the post that actually holds up your mailbox may be severely compromised. This can result in the mailbox post failing when you least expect it. In the summer, when the ground is easy to dig (and not frozen), it's a great time to check out your mailbox and do some preventative maintenance. You can check out your mailbox's condition by gently putting pressure on the post (being careful to stay clear in case it breaks suddenly), or by digging down alongside the post and trying to probe the side of the post for rot or deterioration.
The best time to find out that you need a new post is when you can plan for replacement. The worst time is when the ground is frozen and there is a foot of snow covering the snapped off base of your post. So we're posting, about posts, so you can share our post knowledge, post haste.