Spring alert! The warm weather is here, and everyone is coming out of yurt hibernation!
Now is the time to freshen things up a bit. Let’s get going with 10 helpful tips for springtime yurt care.
Resetting Your Yurt or Ger
Mongolian gers are usually reset 3-4 times per year by nomads in the steppes.
The ger likes it. It is the perfect occasion to thoroughly ventilate the layers, fix any holes in the covers, and/or straighten the entire structure.
Some Mongolians say their gers last 100 years.
This may be true, but more than likely there are not many parts left from the original yurt structure a century prior.
It is normal to change parts over time, and it is easy – especially if you do not have a 12-wall, 40’, mezzanine with plumbing Super Yurt. This will cost WAY less than changing the roof on your house.
Spring Overhaul to Refresh your Ger & Keep It in Great Usable Shape
Here are some pointers for your spring overhaul:
- If taking the yurt completely down is not the best option for you, you can just remove the covers and felts. In the case that it has moved or twisted in the winds, take this opportunity to re-center the structure if necessary.
- The cotton-based canvas will not last forever, but it is a cheap, comfortable, and healthy option compared to a vinyl cover. We generally do not have to change canvases until after 3 years, and still, it is not uncommon to see others that last 10 years, such as in the Yukon. Groovy Yurts come with 10 years ‘at cost’ warranty on our canvases (30% off the listed price).
- If your canvas has become dirty or green, it can be cleaned by being brushed or power washed. Yurt canvas can also be re-treated with a water repellent, but the cost (and effects) of such products may surpass that of a replacement canvas after a few years…
- Did your felts slide over time? You can just add ropes to hold them in place or by using the red (or Peter’s white!) house tape as shown in this picture.
- Check the inner liner for any water stains. If stains are located, try to identify where the water infiltrated, generally by fixing the house wrap. Some house wraps, specifically the Novawrap, become worn as the wind causes the canvas to rub, thus causing them to lose their protective coat in places. Keeping your yurt dry from water coming in is very important.
- The toono, doors, windows, and the base of the yurt are other places where water can infiltrate. Seal the top and sides of your doors and windows, and check caulking. Replace if necessary.
- Once you have fixed any potential leaks, you can remove stains on the inner liner by spraying a vinegar and water solution, Borax and water solution, or putting it in a washing machine
- If you are interested in adding a window to your ger, now might be a good time!
- It is important to check your toono for cracks and possibly reinforce it with a couple screws if you see two layers starting to separate.
- Adding a good layer of varnish on all exterior wood pieces is highly recommended.
- Make sure your ropes are strong and tightened properly. Since the horsehair ropes do age quicker, you have a few options for upkeep. You can switch these out with straps, braid your own, or get new ones from your yurt supplier! We keep selling them with our yurts, as they provide a valuable income to the Mongolian herders.
Groovy Yurt customers have access to set-up videos and the infamous “How to Care for My Yurt” PDF.
We’re Here to Help with Your Yurt / Ger Questions & Concerns
Do not hesitate to get in touch with us for any questions!
We like to believe the yurt has a spirit.
Your yurt will be thankful that you have taken care of its body and you will learn more about how the incredible dwelling works and reacts to you and its environment.