With summer just a month away, the U.S. Postal Service is asking all Newton area homeowners to inspect and repair their mailboxes.

“Repairing suburban and rural mailboxes improves the appearance of our community and makes delivering and receiving mail safer for our carriers and customers,” said Newton Postmaster Randy Smith.

The Postal Service makes this annual request because of the wear and tear that occurs to mailboxes every year. “This is especially important after the effects of last winter,” adds Smith.

Some of the typical activities that may need to be done include:

Replacing loose hinges on a mailbox door

Repainting a mailbox that may have rusted or starting peeling

Remounting a mailbox post if loosened

Replacing or adding house numbers

“If a homeowner plans to install a new mailbox or replace a worn one, he or she must use only Postal Service-approved traditional, contemporary or locking full/limited service mailboxes,” said Smith.

“Customers should be careful when purchasing curbside mail receptacles because the use of unapproved boxes in prohibited. Customers may use a custom-built mailbox, but they must consult with my office to ensure it confirms to guidelines applying to flag, size, strength, and quality of construction.”

For more information on the use of names or numbers on mailboxes, or answers to other questions, please contact Postmaster Randy Smith at 618-783-2013.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.