Mirror Desilvering: Why It Happens and How to Choose Between Glass Repair and Mirror Replacement in Santa Fe, NM

February 7, 2018 5:02 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Longtime homeowners have encountered all sorts of maintenance needs over the years—a leaky faucet, a busted air conditioner, drafty windows and more—but what about issues with residential mirrors? There is something called desilvering, and it’s not a crack or a break. So, what is mirror desilvering? Can it be repaired, or do you need to invest in full mirror replacement in Santa Fe, NM? Read on to learn more.

Mirror desilvering

All mirrors are susceptible to desilvering (also called mirror rot), but the mirrors exposed to moisture in bathrooms, basements and poorly insulated homes and buildings are the most prone to this form of damage. For our purposes, let’s focus on bathroom mirrors.

Everyone loves a long hot shower. The warm water rejuvenates your body and mind, and even opens up stuffed nasal passages. Whether you shower in the evening or first thing in the morning, you will notice a buildup of steam on the bathroom mirrors when you exit the shower.

When you wipe the steam away, do you see black spots? These black spots are typically on the edges of your mirror and have been growing for some time, usually unnoticed. Your mirror is going through a common problem known as desilvering, which happens from repeated steam buildup. The moisture penetrates the silver coating on the back of your mirror, causing it to separate from the mirror glass.

Preventative and restorative measures

The easiest thing for most people to do is replace a mirror that has black spots. Luckily there are environmentally friendly options for those who want to keep the mirror or don’t want the expense of buying a new one:

  • Get a new mirror: As mentioned, replacing a desilvering mirror is an easy way to fix the problem. If you have the money for a new mirror and are not emotionally attached to the one with black spots, go for it!
  • Take precautions: The best way to combat desilvering in an environment like the bathroom is to take preventative measures. Keep in mind that other bathroom actions besides taking hot showers can contribute to black spots. Washing your hands, brushing your teeth, cleaning your face and bathing small pets in the sink or tub can also cause moisture that leads to desilvering, so be careful and keep water in the sink. When water splashes onto the edges of the mirror, dry it off immediately.
  • Install a frame: Looking for a simple fix to hide black spots? All you need to do is add a new frame to the mirror, making sure to do it right. Choose a pre-made or custom frame that matches the space the mirror is in, but because black spots form on the edges of the mirror, be sure the new frame is the right size to cover them. Consider hiring a professional to install the frame, or pick up a custom framed mirror bathroom kit with instructions.

Desilvering happens. If it does, connect the team at Santa Fe Glass & Mirror to help you with mirror replacement or mirror repair in Santa Fe, NM!

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