countrystarr's blog

One Year On, American Express Security Hole Still Not Fixed

We have been contacting Amercian Express multiple times to try to get them to fix this security hole. Even after one year they have still done nothing to address it. We don't understand why they are not taking this issue seriously. We are going to be issuing another press release in August alerting consumers that this issue still has not been fixed. You can see a sneak peek of the press release by visiting our news section. You can get there by navigating to the home page, then on the top level navigation click "news."

Don't wait for American Express to solve this problem. You should be proactive and either get a post office box, or put a locking mailbox in front of your house!

stainless-steel-locking-mailbox

I want to take a few minutes and discuss our stainless steel mailbox. We first introduced our stainless steel MailCase last year in November of 2009. It was a big decision for us to offer the mailbox in stainless steel. Premium grade stainless steel is an expensive metal. Also, it is more difficult to work with that normal steel. The reason is because stainless is a lot harder than normal steel. To manufacture the mailboxes, custom tooling must be made. The custom tooling for stainless is quite a bit more expensive than regular tooling. Since stainless is such a hard metal, the tooling must also be very hard.

We decided to go ahead and offer the MailCase in stainless steel, despite the expense of making the extra tooling. We are glad we did. The response to our stainless mailbox has been very positive. There is simply nothing else like it available on the market.

We made a video exclusively for our stainless steel locking mailbox. To learn more, visit MailCase Stainless Steel.

Changes to the MailCase website

We would like to thank our regular readers for their patience as we have continued to upgrade our website.

The most important thing to us is your ability to find the information you need quickly and easily. Using a website should be intuitive and easy.

At MailCase, the ease of usability of this website is our number one goal. We feel like we have achieved that goal. From making it easy to view our video on the home page, to a clear and easy navigation to the checkout page you should be able to find what you need.

Furthermore, we have posted our phone number right on the top of every page so if you have any questions or problems, it will be super easy to reach us.

Some recent changes to the website include putting an 'articles' link in the main navigation links at the top of every page. Our research labs will be posting articles there identity theft, mail theft, and locking mailbox issues. Please check back regularly for informative new articles. We also put the 'cart' link and the 'blog' link on the bottom of the page.

Thank you for considering a MailCase Locking Mailbox to secure your mail.

Primer Powder Coat

The best way to increase the rust resistance of a steel outdoor locking mailbox is to use a zinc alloy steel. However, this is more expensive than normal cold rolled steel.

Another method of increasing the rust resistance in your curbside locking mailbox is to use two coats of paint, a primer coat and a powder coat.

Most steel locking mailboxes today on the market do not use a primer coat, they only use a powder coat over a galvanized steel. While the galvanization does provide some rust protection, it can still rust at the cut ends and the welds. If a zinc alloy steel is not used, then the next best thing is to use a high zinc content primer coat before applying the powder coat.

Most outdoor steel fencing (decorative type fencing) uses the double painting method. Most mailbox manufacturers should take a page from the book of the fence makers and do a double coat.

The MailCase solves the problem by using the rust resistant high zinc-steel alloy.

Powder Coat Thickness for lockling mailboxes

When you have a steel locking mailbox that is subjected to outdoor weather extremes, it is critical that the powder coat (see previous post) is of the correct thickness.

There is no way for an average homeowner to tell the thickness of the paint on a locking mailbox. This requires a special electronic tool that can measure the thickness. The thickness is measured in millimeters. The best way for an average homeowner to make sure the powder coat is the correct thickness is to buy a locking mailbox from a trusted source.

What is a powder coat?

If you have a locking mailbox made out of metal, like steel or aluminum, then you will have to have some kind of paint, or coating on the metal to maintain corrosion. Especially if your curbside locked mailbox is made of steel, then for sure you will need it to be painted or coated.

Powder coating is the process of painting the mailbox with a special method. A very fine powder is disbursed inside of an airtight paint booth. The powder is so fine that the particles of the powder hang in the air. The powder is charged with a positive charge. Then the steel item that needs to be painted is give a negative charge and put in the chamber. The powder particles become electrically attracted to the negatively charged steel and they stick to the steel in a uniform way.

Then the steel is backed in a superhot oven and the paint sticks to the surface. It is then removed from the oven then cools and dries. This is how a locking mailbox (and other steel items for that matter) have a beautiful uniform finish.

What is galvanization and how does it help steel locking mailboxes

Galvanization is the process whereby normal steel is electroplated with a high zinc coating on the surface of the steel. This high zinc coating is rust resistant. If you have steel that could be exposed to moisture (like a locking mailbox made of steel) then one of the ways to help it resist rust is to have the steel galvanized.

However, galvanization has several problems when galvanized steel is used to make steel mailboxes. The biggest problem is that wherever the steel is cut, it forms a raw, unprotected edge. Also, if the steel is welded, the galvanization is destroyed at the weld spots. The mailbox is a lot more likely to rust in these places.

Most of the rust that I have seen on steel mailboxes has come from the fact that the metal underneath had the galvanization destroyed due to cutting or rusting.

Types of Steel for Locking Mailboxes

In my previous post I talked about the advantages and disadvantages of having steel as a material for your curbside locking mailbox. As I said before, the chief disadvantage of steel is the fact that it can rust and corrode. Especially if you live in humid environments and by bodies of salt water.

However, even in dry climates, steel can rust very easily. The best thing to keep steel from rusting is to use stainless steel. This is extremely expensive. There are other steel alloys that are less expensive but still have high rust resistance. For example, MailCase uses a zinc-steel alloy on our locking mailboxes. This not only makes the steel stronger, but adds corrosion resistance.

In my next post I'll talk a little bit about coatings and galvanization, and how that helps increase rust resistance.

Advantages of steel locking mailboxes

We've discussed aluminum locking mailboxes and plastic locking mailboxes. In this post I want to discuss locking mailboxes made out of steel.

Steel is a great material due to it's high strength. It will hold up better than aluminum and much better than plastic. The biggest problem with steel locking mailboxes is that they are prone to rust and corrosion.

I have seen many steel security mailboxes around my neighborhood that are only a few years old and they already have substantial rust. It is clear the manufacturers of these mailboxes do not understand what is necessary to keep the rust away on steel in an outdoor application like a locking mailbox

In another post I will talk about steel technologies and coating technologies that will help make steel mailboxes longer lasting and more rust resistant.

Plastic Mailbox Designs

In my last post I talked about some of the advantages and problems with an aluminum locking mailbox design.

In this post I want to talk a little bit about plastic mailbox designs. There are not very many plastic mailboxes that are locking. There are some other plastic mailbox designs out there.

The advantage is that they will never rust. The disadvantage is that sometimes when exposed to lots of sunlight, they end up fading and looking very bad. Also, in climates where the temperature gets very cold, they can be susceptible to cracking. Even worse, in very cold temperatures, it would be easy for somebody to break your mailbox with a bat or crowbar.

Also, plastic designs typically do not look as good as metal designs because the plastic must be thicker to meet he US Postal service standards.

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