Yurt Maintenance Tips

We are often asked ‘how long will our yurts last?’

The Mongolian men have a saying, ‘A yurt should last as long as a marriage.’ This means that if you treat her well, she will be with you until old age; mistreat her, and she will be gone in no time. Important factors such as the yurt’s location and type of usage make it difficult to give a simple answer.

Here are a few tips to help you get the most from your yurt.

  1. Whilst we don’t recommend it, many of us choose to live in the yurt all year around, which is possible in our yurts with a little effort. The UK weather has become increasingly challenging in recent years; However, if you are careful to keep your yurt dry and ventilated in the wettest weather, there is no reason you cannot. You must invest in an efficient heat source, such as an efficient wood burner and/or oil heater, to dry out your yurt as necessary. A yurt left neglected during wet conditions will not last very long. For minimum maintenance, we recommend taking down your yurt during the winter months and storing it in a dry place, which should give you a chance to clean and reproof the canvas as required.

  2. If your yurt is to be kept up for long periods, it is essential to make a strong and level base to put it on.  Please see our Yurt Base Webpage for more details.

  3. When setting out the yurt, consider the environment in which it will be placed. Please see our Yurt Base Webpage for more details.

  4. Always use the waterproof groundsheet we provided with our yurts, even if you have a suitable level platform. Our groundsheet curves up at the perimeter to protect the felt and wood trellis from penetrating water. Fold the groundsheet in between the canvas’ outer layers. For permanently situated yurts, we recommend fastening the curved edge of the groundsheet to the wall trellis using pins or nails. This design will further prevent any drafts.

  5. To clean and reproof your canvas, we recommend the following steps.
    1. Brushing
    2. Spot cleaning
    3. Chemical cleaning and Reproofing
    For most yurts’ regular cleaning, step 1 would work, even after birds drop land on the yurt canvas. But you may need to do some spot cleaning for some deeper stains. For yurts affected by moss, mould lichen and algae, you may need to consider chemical cleaning by Wet & Forget, followed up with Fabsil reproofing. Here is what we recommend in detail for each step.

    Step 1, Brushing: Please wait for a dry day to clean your yurt canvas. The yurt’s canvas needs to be dry before using this method. A medium-bristle brush can easily remove most dirt. However, please try the next step if this method does not work for your yurt.

    Step 2, Spot cleaning: Please use a soft brush with a mild soap detergent, such as Bio-washing powder or Daz washing powder. After wet brush, use warm water to rinse off any excess soap and dry with a towel.

    Step 3, Chemical cleaning and Reproofing:
    Before using it, please dilute the Wet & Forget outdoor solution to the correct portion. Otherwise, the concentrated chemical solution would immediately strip off the canvas’s waterproof property, leaving the yurt vulnerable to wet weather. This solution can be applied by a spray pump or brushing it on. It gives the best result after a couple of weeks. Please choose a period of dry weather for this process. For a yurt 6m in diameter or smaller, a 5L sprayer would be sufficient for applying Wet & Forget 1:5 diluted solution.

    However, please be aware that although Wet & Forget is excellent for cleaning and making the clean look last, it also removes part of the waterproof property from the canvas layer. Therefore, it is a must to apply Fabsil Gold to restore the waterproofing property of the canvas after it is cleaned.

    Fabsil Gold is a very easy-to-apply water-proofing Product. It is a silicone-based proofer, which is the same principle as how our yurt canvas is treated. It can be applied by a spray pump or brushing on, extending the canvas’ life span. For a yurt 6m in diameter, you may need 15L Fabsil solution; for a 4.2m dia. yurt, you may need 10L solution to reproof the canvas. For green canvas reproofing, Fabsil Universal Protector UV works the best. Apply it every year or bi-yearly as necessary. Ensure you do this on a dry day to allow sufficient time for the product to dry out.

  6. The wooden frames should last many years, but they need a coat of oil probably every year, depending on the weather and how it’s used. We have tested a variety of oils over the years. The most effective and straightforward application is boiled linseed or Danish oil. This also hides any scratches on the framework. Work the oil in well using a rag.

  7. Many customers will use a wood-burning stove to provide their heat /cooking. We recommend placing any stoves in the centre of the yurt. This is the traditional way. It will allow maximum heat efficiency and is the most practical option, as the crown wheel above has plenty of gaps to accommodate a flue chimney. In smaller yurts, where space is limited, the stove can be placed to the side of the yurt. To accommodate a side flue chimney, you must first put up the yurt, ensuring you have left out a roof rafter or two roughly where you will place the stove. To provide a gap large enough to allow the flue pipe. Then, cut a hole through the felt canvas/felt. Once the flue is in position, a watertight flue collar must be fastened around the hole to prevent heat transfer and water penetration. Heat-resistant sealant can also be used for additional waterproofing around the hole. Your stove supplier can advise you precisely what is required for your particular yurt space. See our Useful Links webpage for a list of recommending stove makers who understand your requirements.

  8. Remember, it is essential to USE your yurt if you are leaving it up, especially in winter. Regularly heating the yurt will allow it to stay dry and comfortable within. This will also ensure the canvas and materials last much longer and prevent any stale odours within the yurt. Opening the door and crown cover regularly will allow air to circulate within. As a good practice, the yurt must be heated up and ventilated at least twice a week to remove potential moisture from the fabric layer. This can be done on summer days by opening all windows and door. In cold, wet weather, this will need to be done by turning on the fan heater or stove periodically and opening the door to let out moisture to dry out the yurt.  maintenance-tip-page

  9. When storing the yurt, the lattice walls (Khana) are best stored flat, with the curved side up. The roof poles should also be tied together and stored lying down. Ensure all painted parts are packed so they will not be scratched or dented.

  10. To prevent rainwater from entering the yurt from the top, please ensure your roof cap is centralised and the down straps are fastened tightly to the base using the provided eye hooks. Aim a corner of the roof cap towards the direction of the prevailing wind in your location. This will help prevent the wind from lifting the cap in heavy weather.

  11. Yurts are designed for areas where the wind speed is less than 7 – 38mph. To make your yurt last longer, we recommend taking it down or covering/strapping it down properly before the storm comes unless you have tall fences or hedge trees in the area to screen the storms. We are not liable for any consequences if you insist on using your yurt in the above situations.

  12. We also supply replacement parts for our customers. We can have any parts made to order and put them in our next shipment for you. Please get in touch with us for a quote.

If you have any further questions about looking after your yurt, why not give us a call or send an email? We are available every day and are always glad to help. (see our ‘contact uswebsite page).