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Garden mirrors can be an excellent addition to your garden. They can help you add a simple decoration or create an illusion of space if you find your garden small. Also, mirrors can look like a secret window into another world and be another fun story to tell kids. But are garden mirrors safe?
Garden mirrors are perfectly safe if you use them properly, and they are excellent for creating the illusion of space in your garden and adding light to shady areas. In addition, garden mirrors make a superb decoration outside.
In this article, I will discuss any potential issues with outdoor mirrors to ensure you install your garden mirrors safely and how you can successfully waterproof your outdoor mirror.
Are Garden Mirrors Safe?
Even though garden mirrors are safe, you still don’t want them facing the sun directly. And one of the main problems with mirrors directly reflecting is a danger to the eyes. In addition, don’t put outdoor mirrors where they could impact bird flight.
Furthermore, never install mirrors in parts of your garden that get direct sunlight for long periods. In rare situations, indoor mirrors have caused fires. For instance, firefighters recommended not putting glass and reflective items on windowsills after sunlight reflecting off mirrors caused fires.
And, while they are unlikely to start a fire, they will create glare, or you could crack them.
How to Make Your Garden Mirror Safer?
When installing garden mirrors, people’s biggest concern is for birds flying into them; however, it happens much less than you might think.
You can prevent birds from flying in your garden mirrors by doing the following:
- You can stick a bird image on the mirror.
- You can frost the surface.
- Allow the material to weather without polishing over time.
- Choose a spot where birds aren’t likely to be flying. For example, patio corners and within climbing plants and hedging are good places to start. Also, often these are points that will benefit most from the additional light mirrors will bring.
- Ultimately, it is the best defense where you install a mirror in your garden.
- You can also make your garden mirror safer by avoiding direct sunlight.
- Make sure your outside mirror will not focus the sun directly or on anything that would burn quickly.
- The good idea is to put your garden mirror in a more shady area or angled to the most intense spots of sunlight.
How to Weatherproof a Mirror Outdoor?
Like your regular indoor mirrors, external garden mirrors can be made either from glass or plastic acrylic. A glass surface is much harder to scratch than acrylic, making it less likely to scratch from passing animals or foliage.
In addition, a glass mirror is also much heavier, so better suited to fixing an outside wall than a less secure surface where it could fall. Acrylic is about 80% lighter than glass, making fixing fence panels and other surfaces and walls a lot easier.
Moreover, Acrylic mirrors are usually designed to provide weatherproof reflection out of the box. However, if you want a non-acrylic mirror that will better stand up to scratches, you will need to seal its edges, which will weatherproof your garden mirror and protect it from rusting.
Once you decide on the type of mirror you install in your garden, you also want to weatherproof it for safety and durability. Here are the steps for weatherproofing your garden mirror.
Step 1: Grab An Edge Sealer
You first need to get a mirror edge sealer from your local hardware store or online marketplaces like Amazon.
A good mirror edge sealer will:
- Help keep your outdoor mirrors’ edges from blackening, often caused by exposure to harsh weather such as rain, sleet, snow, and ice.
- Protect the garden mirror from moisture, cleaning materials, chemical fumes, and salt in the air in beachfront locations.
- Prevent moisture from getting between your mirror and its backing, eventually damaging your garden mirror.
Step 2: Prepare Your Workspace
In an outdoor, well-ventilated area, lay out a tarp or blanket larger than the mirror you will seal. And lay the mirror down on top of the blanket or tarp. To seal your mirror, choose a mild day free of heavy precipitation.
And, for safety, always wear gloves to avoid accidentally applying the sealant to your hand.
Step 3: Apply The Mirror Edge Sealer to The Mirror And Allow it Enough Time To Dry
After you brushed or sprayed on the sealant, depending on the type of sealant you purchased, the next step is to allow it to dry completely.
Let it sit for at least two to three hours, and once it is dry, use a soft towel, an old washcloth, glass cleaner, or denatured alcohol to clean any sealant off the viewing surface that accidentally got on the mirror.
Step 4: Properly Place The Mirror in Your Garden
Properly positioning your mirror in your garden is a delicate task. Make sure you don’t place your mirror in direct sunlight.
Always ensure you tightly fix it because outdoors, it will be exposed to harsh weather, including more intense wind and rain, than the mirrors in your living room.
You can also screw or even glue to keep acrylic firmly in place. I would recommend choosing mirrors’ acrylic sheets because they are ten times stronger than glass, preventing them from shattering if knocked in the garden. Best of all, it added safety, especially if you have small children running around.
You can also try to place the mirror in different places in your garden to see where it fits best.
Can You Put Normal Mirrors Outside?
You can put normal mirrors outside; however, there are mirrors specifically designed for outdoor use. The issue with exterior mirrors is that they are usually either made of plastic or polished metal.
Acrylic mirrors are ideal for use outside because they are weather-resistant and about ten times stronger than glass making. Also, plastic mirrors are excellent when used in busy gardens because they are shatterproof, lightweight, and safe.
I recommend using a good quality interior mirror because it will look good and last longer than cheaper mirrors outside.
Are Garden Mirrors a Good Idea?
Garden mirrors are an excellent addition to any garden and have the power to transform it into a magical and bigger space. It is essential to think about where you place your mirror and what you want to achieve. And always ensure you use the right paint or sealant to ensure your garden mirror looks the part and is waterproof.
Adding a mirror garden has several benefits, and it can beautifully transform your garden by:
- Adding a new dimension to your gardens
- Increasing a sense of space
- Reflecting light into more shady spots
- Making your small garden look bigger.
Overall, garden mirrors are safe and can be an excellent addition to your garden space. You can always make them safer using the tips below:
- Position your garden mirror sensibly.
- Avoid flight paths and direct sunlight.
- Fix them firmly in place.
- Relax and enjoy the extra magical dimension and glow outdoor mirrors bring to your garden.
I hope this post has eased any remaining worries you have about installing garden mirrors.