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Help Roof Cover Leaking

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Old 05-05-2015, 09:53 AM   #1
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Default Help roof cover leaking

hi im new to this forum so hope someone will be able to help,

I bought a 18 foot yurt (cotton canvas) last year to hire out but since then I've had nothing but problems with the roof cover, there are a few faults 1 - is they seem to have used a needle too big for the thread (only in places) 2 - the roof cover seems to be quite lose on the frame (only towards the bottom) so when it rains it tends to hold water in a couple of places between the roof poles (either side of the door and a bit around the back mainly) and 3 - the seam going around the bottom of the roof cover seems to be quite high so the rain tends to run down and hit the stitching before it can run off the cover

In an ideal world i would just make a new roof cover but funds are very tight at the minute and cant afford a roll of canvas

Ive tried reproofing it with nikwax cotton proof but still having problems

My only possible solution at the moment that i can think of would be to (cut) open up the canvas and add another triangular segment and refit the cover to allow the bottom seam to drop down lower so the rain can run off before it hits the stitching, add some taps at the bottom of roof cover maybe 8- 10 taps spread around the roof cover so I'm able to tie it down to the ground and pull the whole cover down tighter, and then finally maybe reproof again with a stronger solution

Sorry quite hard to explain in words but as i said new to this forum so not sure how to upload pics yet but will do so as soon as i work it out lol

But any ideas would be greatly appreciated
Thanks julian

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Old 05-05-2015, 05:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help roof cover leaking

I can imagine your frustration--I've setup my yurt twice now, adjusted it once more and I still haven't gotten a 'perfect' fit/lay with the canvas. But I haven't had the problems you're describing.

Some details that would help us understand where you're coming from--what kind of yurt is it? Modern yurts often have roof poles that attach just to a cable, allowing you to shift them around. Was the yurt cover made by the same people as the frame? What weight of canvas? Was it duck canvas or a similar tight weave? What kind of seam was used? Have you talked to the maker?

As for suggestions: look at your frame, specifically the roof poles--are they tight up in the crown ring?; adjust your tension cable/band (shorten it to push the roof poles up more, making the yurt diameter smaller (inches) which should let your bottom seam hang down further. Don't over tighten or you could break something.

I got a can of Otter Wax to test on my canvas, but it proved to be heavy & tight enough that waxing it wouldn't have helped any (for now). It's a thick, natural wax that is applied with either heat or friction. Might be worth considering.

Or get a couple of used lumber tarps, seam-weld them together, and use it as a sacrificial rain cover.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help roof cover leaking

I read some time ago of a guy that mixed silicone caulk with paint thinner.and rolled it onto the canvas when it drys it makes like a rubber seal and the smell dissipates with time.
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help roof cover leaking

I have a two piece cotton canvas yurt cover. To keep the roof cover lashed down tight I stitched loops about every two feet all around its perimeter. I rope the loops down to a low cable around the base of the

yurt platform

. That keeps the cover VERY snug.

BTW my guess is your cover might have shrunk, as mine did. That would effectively raise the stitching at the wall. Paint the stitching with the mixture Marshall mentioned or just dilute latex paint with water and paint that on the seams. I wouldn't add another pie wedge shaped segment to the cover unless it just got way too short.

Start saving for another cover and make CERTAIN you give yourself two feet of overlap at the wall as it will shrink a good foot or more. If the cover is really narginal just paint it with diluted latex 50% with water.
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Old 08-24-2023, 02:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help roof cover leaking

Hi Bob, I'm interested in your Latex suggestion.

I've got a second hand 5m Mongolian yurt we bought off an acquaintance and we are having trouble with patches of canvas which are letting in water. Its been up 3 weeks now and I proofed it with Fabsil Gold last week but its leaking particularly around the bottom of the walls above the seam and in various other areas. We live in Devon, UK and its been damp here this summer!

I'm wondering whether to treat it again with Fabsil (I put 10 litres over it last time) and make sure its really covered or whether to try something else.
Other people have suggested taking out our


layers before re-treating with fabsil as the felt can suck up the fabsil and limit the waterproofing capacity, have you any knowledge on that?

So is latex a last resort? Do you know how long that might last and can we just repaint it with that again next year? I have been recommended thompsons water seal but I'm reluctant to use it and potentially ruin a decent canvas and the flexibility and breathability of latex makes me think it has potential.

To my eyes the canvas doesn't look really old or degraded and seems in good condition but with a baby on the way in October we need a dry Yurt!

Any suggestions would be welcome, Thanks Will
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Old 08-24-2023, 07:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help roof cover leaking

Hi Will. If you want to be dry, like right now, the cheap easy solution is to buy a huge white poly tarp and lay that over the roof, put a single fold in it to get it to conform to the conic roof, and tuck the edge under the highest wall tension band. It will be obvious what I'm talking about when I say 'fold it to fit' once you get it situated on the roof.

I'm not familiar with fabsil.

I read somewhere canvas can be painted with ~50:50 latex paint to water ratio. Just brush/roll it on dry canvas once the rainy season is over. Try it in one spot to see how it works, or what the ratio of water to paint needs to be.

I haven't done this, just read about it. How well it works or what issues it might cause beats the heck out of me. If you need dry and like >right now<, a big tarp is definitely the way to go for the time being. Guys pitch tarps over canvas wall tents like clockwork. They work GREAT.

Good luck.

Last edited by Bob Rowlands; 08-24-2023 at 08:06 PM. Reason: typos up wazoo as usual
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Old 08-25-2023, 03:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help roof cover leaking

Hey Bob, yep got a big tarp over it at the moment whilst I work out what the next move is. Ill' post it out there and see if anyone else has gone with the latex sollution. Thanks again!
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Old 04-23-2024, 05:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Help roof cover leaking

If you have a leaking roof, the first step is to locate the source of the leak. You should check for damaged or missing shingles, cracked flashing, or deteriorated sealant around windows and chimneys. Once you have identified the damaged areas, it's important to repair them promptly using appropriate materials like roofing cement, flashing tape, or replacement shingles. Applying a waterproof sealant or coating to the entire roof surface can provide extra protection against water damage. However, if the damage is extensive or beyond your expertise, it's best to consult with a professional roofer to ensure proper repair and prevent further leaks.
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Old 04-24-2024, 02:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help roof cover leaking

Originally Posted by vsenterprises View Post
...missing shingles,......using appropriate materials like roofing cement,.....replacement shingles. ...... consult with a professional roofer.....
Deep respect for this excellent and extremely helpful posting! Congratulation!
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