PEPPERELL -- The U.S. Postal Service is asking all Pepperell homeowners to inspect and repair their mailboxes during September, according to Postmaster Jackie Verheyen.

"Repairing suburban and rural mailboxes improves the appearance of our community and makes delivering and receiving mail safer for our carriers and customers," Verheyen said. The Postal Service makes this annual request because of wear and tear that occurs to mailboxes.

"This is especially important after the effects of last winter," Verheyen said. Some typical projects that may need to be done include:

* Replacing loose hinges on a mailbox door.

* Repainting a mailbox that may have rusted or started peeling.

* Remounting a mailbox post, if loosened.

* Replacing or adding house numbers, which Verheyen said is very important.

"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," she said. "Customers should be careful when purchasing curbside mail receptacles because the use of unapproved boxes is prohibited. Customers may use a custom-built mailbox, but they must consult with my office to ensure it conforms 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 any other questions, contact Verheyen at 978-433-5298 or email 01463PepperellMAPostmaster@usps.gov.