Caring for your yurt

I’ve lived in a yurt for 7 years in northern Wisconsin. I bought my yurt used (Pacific Yurts), and I am estimating the age to be 22 years of this posting.

So far so good. The frame is great. The vinyl top seems solid. So what problems have I had and how did I address them?

Greg's yurt in front of the newer straw bale house.

Greg’s yurt in front of the newer straw bale house.

Skirting

The thin plywood that I used to make the skirting (what the bottom of the side cover screws into) has rotted in some places. This is what helps keep the yurt down in a wind so I need to replace it soon. I’d like to find 1/8″ treated plywood for this fix. Pretty simple. I would think 1/4″ plastic sheeting could work too, but you want it to be strong enough to screw in to and hold up against wind.

 

Windows

The plastic windows have velcro along the edges, (female) which attach to the velcro on the yurt side cover (male). When the sun hits the male velcro it breaks it down pretty fast. Consequently the windows blow off in a wind, get damaged and new ones cost $60 each last I checked. It would be great to have a better fastening system.

What I did was to pop-rivet new velcro on to the yurt side cover. It leaves some air gaps between the new and old velcro however, so gluing fabric or sealing with caulking would work to seal the gaps.

Sidewall

The vertical sidewall gets a beating from the sun. Generally the sidewall is lighter and has exposed stitching. Mine was rated for 10 years, and after 22 years being in full sun it’s still going strong.

When I saw that the stitching was starting to fray I decided to paint it. Yes, that’s right paint it. It sounded crazy to me, but with a new sidewall costing $2,000 I figured I’d try it.

I bought paint meant for RV’s called “Plasticoat”. It’s a flexible paint meant to go on metal. Since metal expands and contracts quite a bit, I figured this paint would work well.

It came in white, so I tinted it some with brown, and rolled it on. After at least 10 years of exposure I can say that this is one of my few experimental successes. No chipping or peeling at all and the stitching is coated and protected from not only sun, but molds and other growths known to affect fabrics.

 

That’s about all for now. Let me know if you have any questions!

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5 Responses to Caring for your yurt

  1. scott michalski says:

    Hi Greg! Where does one find a used yurt?

  2. sheryl says:

    Greg,
    Thanks for sharing yurt ideas.
    I am dealing with mold growing between layers around the windows of my PY. So I am excited about the plasticoat.However i cannot find it. Plastikote spyay for autos is what I am seeing. Wondering if you might have more details on where you found your paint.
    Thanks for considering, Sheryl

    • Greg Weiss says:

      Plasti coat is used for coating the metal on RV’s and such, so probably the same stuff you are looking at on the web. Works great! It was a successful experiment… Definetly not meant for this use but worked great. It wouldn’t help to keep mold from forming, but would keep the moisture from getting in to the fabric.

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