If you’re like many campsite, glamping, or resort operators, yurts are at least a little new for you. And one of the most common areas where first-time or recent yurt adopters feel out of their element is maintenance. You may feel worried about overspending, being underprepared, or approaching maintenance the wrong way and accidentally damaging something. Or maybe you’re about to enter your busy season and aren’t sure you have the know-how to get your maintenance done before the coming rush.

Whatever the case, if you’re a new or aspiring yurt operator with more questions than answers around maintenance, we’re here to clear things up. Keep reading for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about yurt maintenance that we get from operators, as well as a step-by-step guide to keeping your yurts beautiful and comfortable for your guests.

Man washing the outside cover of a Pacific Yurt.

How is yurt maintenance different from cabin maintenance?

If you’re an experienced cabin operator, you likely have a well-established maintenance protocol that involves things like cleaning out gutters, power-washing the siding, touching up the paint job, and, depending on your region, applying zinc to the roof for moss prevention. With yurts, most if not all of these steps are unnecessary. And, in fact, there are some, like power washing, that we strongly advise against.

Overall, the biggest difference between yurt maintenance and cabin maintenance comes down to time and cost. Due to their typical size and the complexity of thoroughly cleaning them, cabins typically take much longer, and are more expensive, to maintain than yurts.

How long will my yurt have to be closed for maintenance?

Many yurt operators might be dreading or postponing their maintenance work for fear that it would require their yurts to close for an extended period, undercutting their income and the vibrancy of their site. But because yurts are so much easier to maintain than other lodgings like cabins, this fear is largely misguided.

Cleaning our 16-foot yurts typically takes a two-person crew about an hour and a half to complete, while a three- to four-person crew can usually clean our 30-foot yurts in about three hours, if not less. These time commitments are short enough that, if you have the right sized crew, you could likely do a proper cleaning in the time between one party checking out and the next checking in, resulting in no lost business at all.

If you have a large volume of yurts and don’t have enough staff to clean them all simultaneously, or if you haven’t done maintenance in a while and your yurts, therefore, need more work, consider closing a few at a time for maintenance while the rest remain open and operational, minimizing the business slowdown.

From our customers:

“My guests love the convenience of not having to bring any equipment and having the ambience of an outdoor hotel. The quality has been outstanding and we have not had any maintenance issues since installation over three years ago.”

How can I keep maintenance costs under control?

Another reason operators may put off doing necessary yurt maintenance is that they’re worried about the cost. They don’t want their lack of experience to cause them to pay for something they don’t need or, conversely, not buy enough of something they do need. For instance, as we alluded to before, a yurt operator who invests in a power washer when all they need is soap and a brush will soon realize they’ve wasted their money.

The best way to prevent overspending or return trips to the supply store is to know, in advance, all the materials you need to do your maintenance. If you’re new to the yurt business, check the list below to see what you’ll need to buy.

Do I need a specialized team?

No. As long as you have the right materials and a basic understanding of the steps involved with maintaining your yurt, you or your existing crew should be able to handle maintenance without specialized contractors. One of the things that makes yurts so special is how easy they are to deal with, whether during installation, maintenance, or anything in between.

My yurt looks fine. Can I skip maintenance?

It’s understandable to feel that, if your yurts look pretty clean, there’s no need to spend time on maintenance. Still, we suggest doing maintenance at least once or twice a year. The longer you wait, the longer your maintenance will take when you do finally get around to it, potentially requiring you to close your yurt for a day or more and lose revenue. And even low-level, twice-yearly maintenance can go a long way toward making your yurts even more attractive to guests. 

Besides, the last thing you want is for a paying customer to find a fabric tear or a stain that you missed because you weren’t looking closely. That’s how you end up with bad reviews and requests for refunds. Keeping a regular maintenance regimen is the best way to avoid these headaches.

Beyond cleaning, what kind of maintenance does my yurt need?

Cleaning is just one aspect of good yurt maintenance. Here are a few other things to incorporate into your maintenance regimen:

  • Inspect the lacing cords on your yurt to ensure they’re in good condition and are tight. Replace as needed.
  • If any horizontal wrinkles have formed on the side cover, tighten the roof-to-wall lacing to remove the wrinkles.
  • Lubricate the keyway on the door locks using a graphite lubricant.

Recommended yurt maintenance tools

Here’s the inventory you’ll need to complete a well-rounded maintenance project and get your yurt looking great for guests.

  • Ladders: For small yurts, two 8-foot ladders. For large yurts, one 8-foot ladder and one 12-foot ladder. 
  • Cleaning brushes: One or two long-handle brushes, depending on yurt size, for cleaning the roof (a swimming pool brush works great for this purpose). One or two medium-handle brushes, depending on yurt size, for cleaning walls. One medium or stiff-bristle handheld scrub brush for cleaning the door.
  • Mild soap or enzyme cleaner.
  • Wood cleaner or TSP.
  • Plastic polish and rags for cleaning the dome.
  • Paintbrush for staining the door.

Steps for cleaning your yurt

  1. Remove dome skylight and clean it
  2. Wash roof (top cover)
  3. Wash walls (side cover)
  4. Rinse everything well
  5. Reinstall dome
  6. Scrub exterior of door
  7. When dry, restain the exterior of door and door frame

Find more details on these steps in this article.

With the right approach, yurt maintenance is a breeze, even for new adopters. Get in touch to learn more.