Q & A
Q-How long will a Yurt specialists’ yurt last?
A-If your yurt is cleaned and reproofed annually we expect the outer canvas layer to last around 7 years. The roof canvas layer will be the part getting the most extreme weathering. We design this roof layer to be separated from other layers, for easy removal or replacement. The timber framework of our yurt will last for an indefinite period, as long as the wall lattice and roof poles are oiled every 2-3 years. Our last show yurt was well looked after by us, and we eventually sold it on after 8 years, and it is now loved by its new owner.
Q – How do I know where is the best place to put a yurt on my land?
A-Consider the location of your yurt carefully. For example, exposed windy areas will put more stress on the tensioning ropes and crown cap. Placing the yurt in a heavily wooded area with overhanging trees will inevitably mean more cleaning to prevent canvas greening. Also good airflow will prevent stagnant air and damp.
Q-Which oil should I apply to the yurt roof poles?
A-We use boiled linseed oil, which is easily to find from DIY stores or Amazon, and affordable. It absorbs well into the timber, and should be applied with a rough cloth. Other oils like Danish/teak work well too, or even varnish, though it’s best so use an oil which can be applied by hand instead of a brush.
Wood oil should also be applied occasionally to the lower part of the wall lattice, to about a foot up from the ground. This is because heat tends to rise, so prevents any damp spots appearing in hard to heat areas of the yurt.
Q- What products do we recommend for reproofing the yurt canvas?
A- We recommend using Fabsil Gold. This general tent re-proofer is a little pricier than its competitors, but is worth it. Applied every 1-2 years, this product also has a built in UV defender, which will protect the outer stitching from sun damage, and colour fading. An average sized yurt (5-6m wide) requires 5-10 litres per application. A roller or paintbrush is the easiest way to apply. This can be done when the yurt is up, in dry weather.
Q-what type of base do our yurts need to sit on.
A-The most effective and affordable option for a base is to use timber. A simple Timber framework, a few inches above ground level, that can be supported by fence posts in the ground or settled on paving slabs, which works best. This framework should be overlaid with planks such as decking or reclaimed scaffold boards. Ensure to leave 3 mm gaps between the boards to allow airflow and water drainage.
The shape of the base you build is optional. Our yurts come with a groundsheet which will protect the yurt on any flat well drained surface. The most effective option is a circular base exactly the same size as the yurt. With a small upstand (approx. 75mm) around the perimeter. (3-4mm ply-board works well for this job). This upstand tucks behind the yurts outer canvas skirt, and won’t be visible. This design prevents any water from flowing under the yurt groundsheet. A separate porch area outside the door can be added after if required.
Your yurt base can be any shape, a simple square or octagon will do. Over the years we have had customers use many methods to build their yurts base, from pallets with railway sleepers around the perimeter to steel frame kits that are easy to relocate. What we have learnt is that concrete bases will sap the heat within the yurt, they are also more expensive to build, and can change the way local planners view a ‘temporary structure’. This is not the case with timber.
Also avoid using ply-board, even marine quality to cover your base. Ply-board has a tendency to warp or blister over time. This can create dips where rainwater settles, eventually rotting the ply-board and groundsheet. The large ply sheets can also restrict air movement beneath the structure. This is less of an issue if the base is circular and the same size of the yurt.
Q- What flooring is best to put use in my yurt?
A-There are a few flooring options which will suit various budgets and expectations.
• Polypropylene Dandyweave or Dandydura carpet/matting is currently the most popular. This has a natural woven effect, but is easily cleanable and breathable. There are also similar bamboo based products that work well.
• Rag rugs- these multi-coloured rugs are thermally insulating, and easy to replace as they are so cheap.
• Laminate or engineered timber – This option floats a layer of click lock wood over a thin underlay which overlays the yurts groundsheet, and requires no nails. Think of it as a wooden carpet! Allow an expansion gap where it meets the lattice walls. This flooring is easy to mop/sweep clean and good for high foot traffic. The underlay also helps with breathability.
• Natural timber-I.e solid timber flooring. This option will mean the yurts timber base will need to be circular, the same footprint size as the yurt, to prevent water ingress. As the planks will require nailing to the base. This option is also easy to sweep/ mop and will cope with high footfall. The timber will need to be treated with suitable varnish, and can be laid over your base when the yurt is built. It may also be worth installing a waterproof membrane beneath the natural timber flooring to protect from ground moisture.
Q- How to clean our yurt canvas?
A- To clean your yurt we recommend first brushing away any excess dirt with a medium bristle brush. For more ingrained staining caused by leaves and others we simply use warm water with a mild whitening detergent (no heavy bleach ) like Daz washing powder. Work out any staining with a soft brush. Rinse and repeat.
There is a yurt cleaning product called ‘wet & forget’ which customers have recommended to us. Simply spray it over any canvas areas which are showing greening. We don’t recommend using pressure washers to clean the yurt canvas as they can be too powerful. We have however tested this, and found that standing further away it was indeed a very quick method of cleaning. Doing this regularly may damage the waterproofing of the canvas so we reproof our yurt each year just to be safe.
Q-What’s the best way to heat your yurt?
A-The traditional method is using a wood burner with a suitable heat output for the size of your yurt. For example a 6 metre yurt generally requires a 6kw output log burner. Our yurts are very effective at holding any heat you do produce.
The chimney for the log burner can go through any part of the yurts roof, usually the outer perimeter where roof poles are most spaced out. In Mongolia the burner will always be placed centrally with the chimney going through the roof crown, also because of cooking requirements etc. Our Western preference for larger furniture, and beds, means our customers generally prefer to locate the wood burner against the yurt wall, to allow more space within the yurt. This positioning won’t significantly affect the heat output within the yurt, unless the yurt is very large – say over 8 metre. Remember that a heat deflector sheet will need to be placed behind the Wood burner to protect the yurt wall.
Where the chimney/flue will exit the roof it will be necessary to remove one roof pole, before fitting a ‘Silicone roof collar’(also called yurt flashing, approx. costs £75 online).
Fitting a flue collar involves using a sharp blade to cut a hole in the yurts roof material layers, slightly larger than the flue diameter. (Do not worry as the two plates on the flue collar are much larger than your hole). The plates screw to each other from the inside and outside of the yurt, which provides a watertight silicone seal around the flue.
If your yurt has an electrical connection point or you find log burners impractical, it may be worth considering standard oil or fan heaters. Many customers combine them with a wood burner, for instant heat when required. They can also be set on timers to heat your yurt in wet periods, when it’s not being used.