Exterior signage on the front of the U. S. Post Office building

Mail Malaise: Maintenance Plagues Postal Facilities

  March 16, 2020

By Dan Hounsell

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

While none of these natural phenomena might stop the mail from going through, the U.S. Postal Service is battling a powerful force that is doing some serious damage to its facilities nationwide — deferred maintenance.

The Postal Service inspector general’s office recently reported that it is continuing to see “deficiencies” in building maintenance, safety and security as it starts a new round of inspections based on its previous findings, according to FEDweek.

Over the last two years, the inspector general has issued a series of reports on conditions in postal buildings, the first set focusing on post offices and the second set focusing on other facilities. Based on that work, it developed a checklist of common issues to use in further assessments.

At three facilities in the Indiana district, inspectors identified 33 deficiencies “ranging from minor to serious violations,” and at three post offices in the Mid-Carolina’s district, “we found that building maintenance and safety were not up to standards, with 20 deficiencies identified.”

Among the issues were: rusting and damaged walls; missing ceiling tile; crumbling concrete on loading dock; damaged sidewalk and potholes; restrooms in need of major repair; buckling of floors and uneven metal plates; and “a substance on walls that appeared to be mold.”

Dan Hounsell is editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions.


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