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Do Yurts Get Moldy? (4 Ways To Avoid Mold)

As yurts are becoming more popular you can now find them in pretty much any climate including humid ones, so it makes sense why a common concern is whether or not yurts get mold. I wanted to find a clear answer on the issue how to prevent it if so. Here’s what I found.

Yurts can get moldy if not properly maintained, but you can prevent mold by ensuring proper ventilation, controlling moisture using dehumidifiers or wood stoves, insulating with mold-resistant materials, maintaining your yurt regularly, choosing an ideal location, and using waterproof coverings.

Now that we know yurts can get moldy, how can we avoid it?

4 Ways To Keep Your Yurt From Molding

1. Proper Ventilation

Yurt in a winter forest

One of the key factors in preventing mold growth is ensuring proper ventilation. A well-ventilated yurt is a happy yurt.

Make sure your yurt has enough airflow by installing vents or windows that can be opened and closed. Keep them open during the day to allow fresh air in and to let moisture escape. You can also use the dome lid as a source of airflow.

For more information on windows in yurts, check out my article Do Yurts Have Windows (& Can You Add Them)?.

To further improve ventilation, consider adding a ceiling fan or using portable fans to help circulate the air. Position fans near windows to draw fresh air in and push stale air out.

“You shouldn’t have mold problems with Pacific Yurts, assuming you have proper ventilation and air circulation. However, you will need to wash the exterior regularly to remove dirt and debris.”

Pacific Yurts

2. Moisture Control

Controlling moisture is crucial for preventing mold growth in any living space, and yurts are no exception.

One effective moisture control method is using vapor barriers. These barriers, typically made of plastic or foil, can be installed on the ground beneath your yurt or between the insulation layers to prevent moisture from seeping in.

Adding a wood stove can also help in maintaining a dry environment inside your yurt. The heat generated by the stove not only keeps you warm but also helps reduce moisture levels.

Finally, consider investing in a dehumidifier for your yurt. Dehumidifiers work by extracting moisture from the air, effectively reducing the humidity levels and creating a less favorable environment for mold growth.

Place the dehumidifier in areas prone to dampness, such as near your cooking area or where you store wet gear.

3. Insulation

Insulation is essential in maintaining a comfortable living environment inside your yurt and also helps to prevent mold growth by reducing condensation.

Choose insulation materials that are mold-resistant and have good moisture management properties. I would opt for natural insulations like wool or hemp.

When installing insulation, be sure to cover all surfaces, including the walls, roof, and floor. This not only helps to keep your yurt warm but also minimizes the risk of mold growth due to condensation.

3. Regular Maintenance

yurt in mongolia

Keeping your yurt clean and well-maintained goes a long way in preventing mold. Make a habit of cleaning and inspecting your yurt regularly. Pay special attention to the walls and the area near the ground, as these are prime spots for mold growth.

In “Yurts: A Love Story,” the author recommends using a mixture of water and mild detergent to clean your yurt’s canvas, and don’t forget to let it dry thoroughly before reassembling.

When inspecting your yurt, look for signs of wear and tear or damage that could allow moisture to enter. Promptly repair any issues, and consider applying a water-repellent treatment to the canvas to help keep moisture at bay.

4. Choose The Right Location

Picking the perfect spot for your yurt can help you avoid mold problems. Look for a location that gets plenty of sunlight and is elevated, so water doesn’t pool around the base of your yurt.

In “Yurt Living for the Modern Nomad,” the author suggests choosing a spot with good drainage and avoiding areas near ponds, lakes, or streams where humidity levels might be higher.

Before setting up your yurt, clear the site of any debris, and level the ground if needed. Consider installing a gravel or crushed rock base to improve drainage and minimize the chance of standing water around your yurt.

How Long Do Yurts Last?

Yurt in a field of flowers

Modern yurts have an average lifespan of 15-20 years but varies on materials, manufacturer, and maintenance.

While the interior structure of a yurt is durable and can last for several decades or even longer, the exterior elements such as fabric, windows, and doors are more likely what is needed to be replaced.

Lower costLimited space
Easy to assembleLimited insulation
PortableLimited privacy
SustainableOnly lasts 15-20 years
Unique aestheticLimited financing options

The climate and weather conditions in the yurt’s location can also affect its lifespan. Yurts that are exposed to harsh weather conditions like high winds, heavy snow, or extreme heat may deteriorate faster than those in milder climates.

Yurts from reputable manufacturers with a history of producing high-quality yurts are more likely to last longer than those from unknown or inexperienced manufacturers. Not only will they last longer, but some reputable ones will offer warranties, like Pacific Yurts.

Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring the longevity of a yurt. This includes cleaning, re-felting, and repairing any damages or wear and tear. Neglecting maintenance can lead to a shorter lifespan for the yurt.

How Are Yurts Waterproof?

Yurt roof

A common concern among prospective yurt owners is how these structures manage to stay waterproof. The secret lies in the combination of materials and design that work together to keep water out.

Canvas and Vinyl

Modern yurts are typically constructed with a heavy-duty canvas or vinyl covering that serves as the primary barrier against the elements. These materials are specifically designed to be waterproof and durable, ensuring that they can withstand heavy rain and snow. Some yurt manufacturers even offer covers treated with additional water-repellent chemicals for added protection.

Sloped Roof and Central Compression Ring

The unique design of a yurt’s roof also plays a crucial role in keeping water out. The sloped roof allows water to run off the sides, preventing it from pooling and causing leaks. The central compression ring, which supports the roof rafters, also functions as a skylight and an essential ventilation point. This design element, combined with the sloped roof, effectively directs water away from the center of the yurt and prevents water from seeping in through the skylight.

Proper Installation

Proper installation is essential to ensure your yurt remains waterproof. When assembling your yurt, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely and ensure that the canvas or vinyl cover is pulled taut over the frame. This helps prevent sagging, which could lead to water pooling on the surface and eventually causing leaks.

Regular Maintenance

As mentioned earlier, regular maintenance is key to keeping your yurt waterproof. Inspect your yurt’s cover and seams for any signs of wear and tear, and repair or replace the cover as needed. Applying a water-repellent treatment to the canvas can also prolong its lifespan and improve its waterproofing capabilities.

By understanding how yurts are waterproof and following the six tips outlined above, you can keep your yurt mold-free and enjoy your off-grid living experience without worry. Happy yurt living, friends!

Do Yurts Leak In The Rain?

When properly constructed and maintained, yurts should not leak during rainstorms. However, it’s important to understand that no structure is completely immune to leaks, especially in heavy rain or extreme weather conditions. The key to preventing leaks is to ensure that your yurt is correctly assembled, waterproofed, and maintained.

To prevent leaks, it’s essential to:

  1. Use a high-quality, waterproof canvas or vinyl cover.
  2. Ensure the cover is taut and securely fastened to the frame.
  3. Regularly inspect and maintain the cover, seams, and skylight.
  4. Install a water-repellent treatment on the canvas or vinyl cover, if not already treated.
  5. Keep the yurt’s interior properly ventilated to minimize condensation.