Leaning Brick Mailbox

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Old 06-09-10, 09:00 AM
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Question Leaning Brick Mailbox

What is the safest way to straighten a leaning brick mailbox? It would appear that the mailbox was built without a solid foundation and has settled over the last five years. I didn't want to push on one side to straighten it and break it into pieces.
 
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Old 06-09-10, 10:03 AM
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Hi Vidar and welcome to the forum.

I have to chuckle, as we just had another poster asking about how to install a brick mail box and a good foundation was one of the suggestions. If you are in a frost area, it will probably move again. Ultimately you may need to remove and replace it to get a stable installation.

If you look up the term liquefaction, it describes the properties of soil when it gets wet or in the case of earthquakes, when vibrated. Since you can't create an earthquake , the one simple option is to secure the structure with ropes in 4 directions. Remove the sod around the base, back several feet. Attach a 4' length of 1/2" copper pipe to the end of your hose and hydro drill around and under the base of the post. I usually insert the pipe into my hose and use lots of tape to seal and secure it. Make it really secure as under pressure, when the end of the pipe is stuck in the ground, the water will want to push the pipe out.

You are there so you will have to judge the soil and determine the depth of the base, but softening up the soil around and under the mail box, will allow it to move. I have loosened the soil around stumps, flag poles and fence poles all successfully with this method. Use the ropes to pull as necessary and to tie it off when you have it where you want. Tamp the surrounding area and leave it at least overnight to set up. Very sandy soils can be difficult, as they can take the water faster than you can deliver it. Some digging may also be required.

It may sound strange, but it is an option that may save a lot of work otherwise.

Bud
 
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Old 06-09-10, 10:30 AM
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"Attach a 4' length of 1/2" copper pipe to the end of your hose and hydro drill around and under the base of the post."

You can also use pvc in place of the copper. I suspect the copper might work better but pvc will also work and it's cheaper
 
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Old 06-09-10, 11:28 AM
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I recall reading the post about foundations and here in Florida we don't tend to have that probably. I'd still put in a foundation if I were to build a new mailbox but not an option at this point. Unfortunately we do have sandy soil in Florida even though the lot has about 4-5 feet of top soil on top of the sandy base.

I'll give the removal of some soil on the high side a try to see if that will level it off. Worse case I'll recycle the bricks and get it rebuilt correctly.
 
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Old 06-09-10, 12:32 PM
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When you start getting ground frost in Florida, I don't want to be living in Maine .

You can actually try just creating a ditch around the base and soak it with water. Depending upon the soils, it might get mushy. You should still tie it off.

Bud
 
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Old 06-09-10, 01:22 PM
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Soon after I built my (big and heavy) CMU mailbox, the county re-cut the ditch behind it causing it to lean a good inch and a half out. I excavated all around it to the bottom of the 6" foundation, then excavated under the high side. I wrapped it with 2x4s and strapping, then gently pushed it plumb with my truck. I placed concrete everywhere I dug, and built an SRW behind it to prevent it from happening again. GTG for the last 6 or 7 years.

 
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