Caring for your yurt

I’ve lived in a yurt for 7 years in northern Wisconsin. Since I moved out of the yurt 5 years ago it still stands and is a nice get-away and guest house. I bought this yurt used (Pacific Yurts) from someone, 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. I’ve replaced the velcro windows once or twice due to cracking. So what problems have I had?

Skirting

The thin plywood that I used to make the skirting (what the bottom of the side cover screws in to) 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 next time.

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 though, so gluing fabric or sealing with caulking would work to seal the gaps.

Side cover fabric

This polyester fabric will go before your roof. I started to see threads breaking and general wear and tear. I knew that I wasn’t going to be moving the yurt anywhere so I decided to try painting the side cover fabric and stitching. I used “Plasticoat” a acrylic paint used to coat metal motor homes. Metal shrinks and expands quite a bit and I wanted the same type of flexibility in the paint I’d use on the side cover.

I added some brown tint and presto! One of my best fixes yet. This paint shows no signs of wear or flaking after almost 8 years of winter and wind storms, and I haven’t fixed one thread on the cover. Great stuff.

Screens

I had a squirrel rip through a screen. Easy fix with some new screen from the hardware store. What wasn’t as easy was fixing the holes bored through by Japanese beetles! These suckers winter over between the wall covering and when they wake up, they tunnel out. We had to sew in a whole new screen last summer.

Mold and mildew

I haven’t had much issue inside, but outside you do have to get a long-handled brush and scrub once a year. Put some anti-mildew stuff on it and it may be 2 years between cleanings.

I have heard people living in shady, rainy, cool places having lots of mold problems. Makes sense. The inside of the yurt is warm, the wall is cold. All moisture will hit the wall and droplets run down to the floor eventually these will turn mildewy. Insulation will help, but what’s better is putting your yurt in the sun. If you don’t have sun and have cool wet summers, you may want to think about another type of structure.

That’s all for now! let me know your thoughts and questions.

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