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Everything You Need to Know About Mirror Rot


Mirror rot, or mirror desilvering as it’s officially called, is when the shiny surface of your mirror begins to fade to an ugly, tarnished black. Oftentimes, this desilvering begins as tiny, almost unnoticeable black dots along the corners or edges of your mirror. Over time the dots grow and multiply until they smooth together into a black blur. So what’s happening and how do you stop it?


Mirror Rot is caused by moisture penetrating between the layer of glass and the layer of metal. Once water vapour has wormed its way in, the metal that makes your mirror shiny begins to react and oxidize (rust), turning an ugly black. Typically, the layer between the glass and metal becomes separated when the edge of the mirror is regularly exposed to powerful chemicals, most commonly ammonia. Once the separation occurs, any moisture — even just steam from showering — can begin to cause the black spots to appear.


Preventing Desilvering.

By understanding what causes mirror rot, Calgary homeowners and business owners are in an excellent position to prevent it from ever happening. 


The first step is to ensure your glass cleaners are ammonia-free. If a cleaner is responsible for your mirror, instruct them not to use ammonia-inclusive cleaners on your mirrors. 


Second, instead of spraying the cleaning solution directly onto the mirror’s surface, spray the cleaner onto a rag instead. When the solution is sprayed on the mirror, it often drips and pools along the edge, increasing the likelihood of the glass layer separating. By spraying onto a rag instead, there will be no pooling fluid. 


Finally, protect the mirror from moisture. Make sure your bathroom is well ventilated, so the room doesn’t remain steamy for hours. If your mirror descends all the way to your vanity, make sure to never leave water pooled on the counter. Ideally, you should consider either raising the mirror, so it no longer directly contacts the vanity, or adding a strip of silicone to seal the edge where the mirror touches the counter. 


Whether you collect antique mirrors or simply wish to safeguard the beauty of a new one, preventing mirror rot is key to ensuring the long-term elegance of your mirror. Contact the experts at House of Mirrors and Glass today to learn more about protecting and repairing the mirrors you love.