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Old 09-14-2016, 02:32 PM   #1
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Default How to deal with dampness

Hi All,
New owners of a 22 ft Mongolian canvas yurt with two layers of felt insulation. We are in a forested area of central/north Ontario and stay on weekends. We built in July and had a few months of weekend fun but now the rainy fall weather has set in. When we arrive, it seems to take us a good six hours of airing out the yurt (toono and doors open and skirts lifted) for it to feel less damp. We've ordered our woodstove, which will help dry it out, but I am also wondering if there is some way to keep it from becoming so damp in the first place?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts!
Christine

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Old 09-14-2016, 05:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to deal with dampness

If you have electricity get a humidifier with a timer. Set it to cycle a few times a day. And you might leave a few small buckets of charcoal briquette scattered throughout. Charcoal loves moisture and absorbs odor. Use it for your outside fires afterwards. Good luck! The stove will help a lot.
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to deal with dampness

If you have electricity, I'd suggest putting in a small vent to move air around/out while you aren't there. A tiny fan that pushes ~5-30 cfm out through a vent in the platform or crown ring would probably work well. Such fans are available in many different voltages (115 Vac or 5/10/12/24/48/etc Vdc). Owing to the small amount of power such a vent fan would require (1-5 watts), 24/7 running would take only 20-50 watt*hours each day-->a small solar panel with a small battery would run it nicely.

If you don't have power, a simple vent of some form or another might help. Getting it to actually draft well might be tricky.

I've a 20 ft traditional yurt with just a heavy canvas cover--I'm planning on covering it with lumber wrap (thin woven polyethylene tarps). This should shunt most of the rain (and UV rays) off the yurt, reducing how much water gets to the cover and insulation.

There are a few other tricks for reducing humidity--dessicants (charcoal, zeolites, silicon dioxide, CaCl2, etc) left in a bucket to pull moisture out of the air. But I'm not sure the cost/effort would payoff. Giving it a good warming when you first get there with the wood stove will probably help a lot, like cmwingfield said.

You didn't mentioned if you installed a semi-permeable vapor barrier (house wrap/tyvek) in your doubly-insulated yurt...
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Old 09-30-2016, 11:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to deal with dampness

Thank you for the advice. We do not have access to hydro and have had little luck with solar as the trees around the clearing are so high; sun doesn't stay in one spot long enough to even charge small solar garden lights. We are going to look at wind power next year, as that seems a better option where we are set up.
We chatted about adding a simple roof vent after reading these suggestions. That might help in between when we aren't there to get the wood stove going.
We did add tyvek wrap and are also looking at adding a clear sail tarp up high to shield from some of the rain and future snow.
Thank you again for the replies! We are learning as we go.

Last edited by cmapapillon; 09-30-2016 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to deal with dampness

Mongolian yurts do well in dry climate. Little rain, low humidity. You live in a wet climate, and natural organic materials used in Mongolian yurts decay in wet climate. So, keeping the yurt as dry as possible is key to long term use.

When you leave the yurt, drape a huge poly tarp over the entire yurt. Tuck it in the lowest tension band. That's the best you are going to be able to do to keep rain and mist and snow off the yurt while you are away. Alternatively purchase a fifteen year cover from one of the fine manufacturers on this site. Those 'will not' let rain water or snow soak your cover and into the insulation.

An $$$ alternative is an automatic heating system that warms the yurt while you are away, IN CONJUNCTION with a waterproof cover. Another possibility is working a deal with a friendly neighbor that can fire the stove a couple hours before you arrive. I hate to say it but damp and musty interior and real degradation of materials is quite possible in just a couple years if you can't keep the wet out in your wet high humidity environment. Good luck.
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Old 10-07-2016, 09:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to deal with dampness

Thank you Bob for the advice! Yes we are learning as we go and already keep it covered when we are not there. I think we've come to the determination we will need a different cover; a shame as the cover we currently have is so beautiful :-)
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to deal with dampness

If you dont use it, take it down and store it.
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