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MOLD And Offgassing!

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Old 01-15-2018, 03:56 PM   #1
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Default MOLD and Offgassing!

Hello everyone!

I have owned a 16ft Pacific Yurt for about 4 years now. It has been mainly used as a warm weather hang out space until this past summer when I discovered a black mold infestation in my home. Since unbeknownst to me I had been living with mold for years, I became very very ill. So as soon as I discovered it I had to vacate my house and the yurt became my residence.

My yurt just has the basic

insulation

kit that comes with it and even is lacking the insulated window covers, which at first was fine. I was appreciating the fresh air. But obviously as it has gotten colder, and I am considering living in the yurt full time for at least another year, I am thinking about better

insulation

. Specifically, I am considering selling my 16ft and getting a new 20ft with real windows and a better insulation package.

My concern is MOLD. Because my yurt was so drafty, I never had a mold issue. Its very very important that wherever I live can not grow any hidden mold. I am scared of extra insulation doing just that in the yurt. I would like to hear from those who have lived full time in their yurts what their mold experience has been? My source of heat would most likely be a space heater (oil) as I am unsure I can tolerate wood heat yet.

Also, after exposure to mold many folks become super sensitive to all chemicals. Any feedback on the off gassing of a new yurt?

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Old 01-15-2018, 05:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: MOLD and Offgassing!

If you over insulate, you will have mold. There is story after story here of that happening. I would go with the best insulation package they have, and in your case, if you can swing radiant floor

heating

(oil or gas based), that would probably be the best seeing as how you are now probably more sensitive to things like wood heat. If the heater for the floor can reside outside (I believe they can) then you also save quite a bit of room compared to say, a wood stove which is bulky.

Good floor insulation will help quite a bit.

Any gassing from the vinyl roof would go up, and would be outside, not inside. I never noticed any gassing at all on my 30' Pacific Yurt.
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: MOLD and Offgassing!

Thanks for the tips!

Can you elaborate on how you would over insulate? And if you dont mind giving your opinion on the top reasons you have seen (or heard) yurts go moldy, I'd love to hear them so I can consciously avoid them!
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: MOLD and Offgassing!

By the way, the bathroom will be outside. I dont want to take the chance of a shower inside the yurt.
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: MOLD and Offgassing!

Over-insulating in my opinion would be to fill spaces between the rafters with insulation along with the walls. If strive to make a yurt air-tight, you will have mold. See, in a standard stick built house, you will notice if you look at the roof or at the gable ends of the home, vents or vent pipes. One of the purposes of these is to vent

moisture

. Yurts have no such vents when you block up every pore in the thing. That

moisture

has to escape.

Remember, yurts are really just giant tents. Have you ever noticed the condensation on a tent when you go camping, especially when you are inside? The same thing happens in a yurt.

The reflective insulation many of these yurt companies offer, will help reflect your radiant heat back into the structure, but they do not contain warm air. The yurt will breathe.

Here are some links of past threads that have dealt with moisture:

https://www.yurtforum.com/forums/yur.../moisture.html
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: MOLD and Offgassing!

I live in a small 12-ft yurt in Austin where humidity can be a problem, especially in the summer. Other people with more cold weather experience should chime in. There are several things that help. One thing is that there has to be a way to get moist air out of the yurt even when you want it really well sealed, like in the coldest part of winter. Most

heating

systems remove moisture from the air and insulation, which is helpful. But I feel that all yurts should be designed to do some controlled outside air exchange even when fully buttoned up. I love catalyzed propane heaters, but they create water vapor as a by-product, and they already require a bit of venting to be safe. Many people aren't aware of the water production and are surprised by the humidity.

My insulation is made of cast-off comforters and sleeping bags. I take them down seasonally and wash them to prevent them from getting too dirty. My resident gecko and anoles get very upset when I do this. Allergies in general are also terrible in Austin, so I just got a small Holmes HEPA air filter, which are available consistently at thrift stores super cheap. The real problem with mold getting worse and effecting health is when the spores spread, which usually happens when transitioning from moist to dry. If you filter the spores out of the air regularly, it never has a chance to get worse. I've already noticed an air quality improvement from when I installed the filter.

I'm going to be adding a layer of Reflectrix bubble wrap insulation to at least the ceiling this summer, but it's supposed to help in winter too. It's pretty mold-proof.

One thing I've found really helps with any allergy problem is lower-carb dieting. When I've been very strict on it for months, things that previously would have sent me into flu-level misery barely effect me. It lowers systemic inflammation, so the extra one gets from various allergens are less likely to push one over the edge.

Insulating the floor well really helps. I have only 3/4" foam insulation, and my floor gets pretty cold if I don't heat it constantly in the winter. I also have cork flooring, which is looks and feels great and helps with insulation. I keep my little electric space heater on the floor and pointed toward the center from the side. Once the floor is warmed up, I can maintain 65 o F inside when it's in the 20s outside with one little 1500 watt space heater. But if I leave for a few days and let the floor get cold, it takes a whole day to re-warm. If I lived in a cold climate, I would take the time to install a basic heated floor. I get the most even heating in the yurt when I start from the bottom. Otherwise I get the floor at 55 o F, the middle at 65 o F, and up by the plugged roof ring at 75 o F.

The main point is that moisture will build in a sealed yurt until it is a problem unless is removed somehow.
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