For years, stucco contractors have tried to produce simulated concrete and stucco mailboxes that would last. The technology used was quite primitive, but was the generally accepted process to simulate masonry mailboxes
The inherent problem with traditional thick coat stucco applied over Styrofoam (EPS – Expanded Polystyrene) was the brittle nature of the coating. Any impact would create fractures in the stucco and allow the foam to break loose from the structure.Repairs are usually futile and hard to hide. The hairline cracks allow moisture to invade the foam and cause the stucco to delaminate from the foam base.
Many older mailboxes had metal corner beads embedded in the stucco. Over a period of time, rust spots develop as the moisture penetrates the stucco.
The New Era in EPS Stucco Look Mailbox Fabrication
We have now entered a new era in foam fabrication. Technology has changed, as has the attitude with regard to EPS Foam products. EPS Foam is no longer considered an “imitation or fake” material, but rather a versatile construction media that has more, creative applications than ever. The key to any EPS product is the finishing process. The material that is used to protect and preserve the EPS Foam core is critical. As described earlier, just applying a thick layer of stucco over the foam is a temporary finish at best.With the advent of new coating materials specifically designed for EPS Foam, we now are able to produce a mailbox that will last a lifetime and will resist most incidental impacts. The key is the coating.
In our manufacturing process, we start with a rough cut mailbox body using 1.5 lb. high density EPS Foam. The base is cut and hand assembled along with any desired architectural accents such as trim moldings, bands, keystones or special features.Standard mailboxes are fabricated to accept a T-1 Aluminum Mailbox insert with exterior flag which is included. Once the structure is assembled it is sent to the coating area.Here the entire fabricated structure is encapsulated in a Poly Urea coating. This special coating seals the structure and prevents water infiltration as well as provides a base coat that has flexibility to resist impact damage to the foam core. While we can’t guarantee this, these mailboxes have been known to “bounce” off of cars when struck. The homeowner simply set it back in its pad and did a little paint touch-up. Once cured, the structure is textured to the desired finish . We do offer an optional delivery and Installation service at Customer’s cost.
Mailboxes should be installed to be “break away”, which means there is no permanent post or structure embedded in the mailbox core and anchored into the ground. The mailbox is placedon grade, leveled and plumbed, checked for USPS requirements for height and placement and encased in a concrete pad around the bottom of the mailbox base at ground level. This pad is a perimeter band of concrete around the base that is 4” Wide and 4” Thick. Once installed, our mailboxes will give you years of service.