Whether you’re staying in a yurt short-term, like a weekend getaway, or planning to live in one full time, you want to know that you are safe and secure. There are several yurt components to consider when we talk about being safe in a yurt.
Structural safety: Every Rainier Yurt is engineered and built with the highest quality materials using proprietary innovations and craftsmanship. Each one is designed and manufactured to withstand the harshest environments. We have deep roots in fabric structures, structural integrity, engineered loads, and strong project management. Built-in Rainier quality starts at the top with an exclusive ring-rafter locking system for superior safety.
Tension Cable: The tension cable is certified pre-stretched, load-tested, and engineered to 8,000 pounds! Your yurt walls will not stretch outward over time. The structural integrity of any yurt depends upon the perimeter tension cable that connects the rafters to the wall lattice. Rainier cables exceed engineering specifications and are pre-tensioned to prevent future sagging. Our Eagle tension cable is 1/4″ aircraft stainless steel and is the only yurt offered with SS yachting grade fitting.
Foundation: Using our engineered platform plans to build your platform to tolerance will ensure the strongest platform to erect your yurt. A SIPS panel may be an alternative worth looking into if you have several cold temperatures, are building on the edge of a cliff or other precarious situations, or if the yurt will be in an area with intense winds. The construction of your platform is critical to a sturdy yurt. Some folks pour sonotubes and others use pier blocks. It is important that you follow our guidelines and that the finished diameter is within a few inches of tolerance to our specs.
Roof fabric: Roof fabric seams are welded using electromagnetic energy to fuse two 1″ overlapping edges of vinyl, thus creating one large piece without stitching. This strong construction will provide years of protection and safety from harsh elements.
Snow load: Each of our yurts (regardless of sizes and model) are engineered for a ground snow load calculation. Features like our ring-rafter brackets ensure the strongest most efficient outdoor living structure ever devised. We customize every yurt based on the environment, elevation, wind, and snow load. Recently we custom engineered a 33′ yurt (855 sq. ft.) to withstand a 169 pound per square foot snow load!
Wind: All of the yurts in the Rainier Yurt family are designed to withstand between 95 m.p.h. and 105 m.p.h. wind resistance – this is based on the standard 3-second gust calculation used by engineers and architects. To further ensure safety, we have a proprietary innovation called Eagle Blocks that add stability and prevent the rafters from moving or sliding.
Fallen trees: While there isn’t much you can to with the forces of Mother Nature, rest assured that we have put the very best components across the board into these yurts. Our rafters are solid Douglas Fir construction, the first choice of architects and engineers when specifying structural lumber. Each individual rafter is machine tested or MSR rated to meet the 2,400 rating in bending stress – 40% stronger than standard fir. Rainier uses kiln-dried wood (seasoned in a heated chamber) to bring the product to a pre-determined moisture content so it won’t stretch or shrink.
Douglas fir has the highest resistance to applied load of all the North American woods. It is documented to have superior performance in actual use against strong winds, storms, and earthquakes. Rainier uses Northern grown wood, which has a slower growing season, resulting in a tighter grain and a higher density. The northwest region of the U.S. is governed by environmental laws for protection of habitat, watersheds, soils, and biological diversity.
Chemicals, wood stains, and VOCS: All of our fabric, vinyl and insulation components are treated at the mill to be water repellant, mildew and ultraviolet resistant as well as flame retardant. There are no chemical smells, or outgasses that penetrate the yurt. Our fabrication facility is nearly VOC-free. In fact, we don’t use any harsh chemicals to produce your yurt. We use a natural wood finish derived from Brazilian Rosewood Oil, which is less harmful to the environment than petroleum based product. The VOC is less than 1 gram/liter.
Burglary & theft: I rarely hear of vandalism or theft of yurts, and when I do the break-ins are often animals scavenging for food! The bottom line is, the lattice is on the inside of the vinyl wall AND the soft windows. The only people who can fit through the lattice are the size of an average six-year-old, and I don’t hear reports of vandals carrying fully charged sawsalls or hacksaws. For the most part, yurts are respected and left alone in the wilderness, even when the owner is not at home.
Animal attacks: Like I said, yurts are most often broken into by critters, and we’ve designed our Eagle wall panels with this in mind! The wall comes in easy-to-remove 92″ wide sections – damaged sections can be removed and replaced for as little as $320 USD. If it weren’t for this ingenious sectioned wall design, you’d have to replace the entire outer wall, which would set you back three to four thousand dollars and would take three to four times as long. Small tears can be patched easily, with just an inexpensive patch kit.
Protection from the elements: Our exclusive designed pursing cable cinches the bottom of the yurt wall UNDER the platform to seal out weather and insects. This, in addition to the overlapping roof valance and insulation sections all work in unison to provide the best protection from the elements. We definitely know about harsh elements! Rainier has been building tents for nearly 120 years, and when we acquired Nesting Bird Yurts in 2004, we added the experience of a company that first built yurts for the Isreal family in 1972. (Dana would like it to be known that she is not nearly old enough to have been around that entire time.)
Fire: The durable, top-of-the-line marine grade fabrics of the outer shell meet stringent fire codes. You can safely have a wood burning stove or propane heater inside your yurt with no worries. Our Eagle Army Duck Liner meets the Industrial Fabric Association Tent Spec CPAI-84 adopted by many states and the Federal Government as the fire rating standard and offers a margin of safety previously unavailable in canvas.
Flood: Every Rainier yurt includes a set of standard deck plans that will meet most client needs. However more municipalities are requiring plans developed for your specific site. We can fulfill that need with specifically engineered deck plans that will meet International Building Code requirements. Rainier works closely with our licensed structural engineer to develop these engineered platform designs. Our yurt platforms are raised off the ground and work well on a variety of terrain and grades. We even thought of snow melt when we designed our yurts.
Mold and mildew: Yurts are like expensive RV’s – the better you maintain them, the longer they will last (and the better they will look!) The roof has an acrylic topcoat which is resistant to UV light, mold, mildew, and dirt. Regular cleaning to remove dirt and debris will greatly extend the life of your yurt roof. Cleaning the roof is done in place with a long-handled soft mop and a solution of lukewarm water and mild soap. Do NOT use abrasives, bleach, detergents, or a pressure washer. Use a clean mop and rinse often.
The woven fabric sidewalls will clean virtually the same as the top. Many customers report excellent results using the following organic home remedy for cleaning the outside:
Mix 4 gallons of water and 1 gallon of white vinegar with about 1/2 cup of the unscented Dr. Bronner’s Pure liquid Castile Soap. Use a soft bristle brush with a telescoping long handle to clean one section at a time, rinsing each section well before moving on.
We also endorse the 303 fabric and vinyl cleaner for stubborn stains. 303 Fabric and Vinyl Cleaner is your best choice for cleaning indoor and outdoor fabrics as it contains no soaps, detergents, or solvents.
Properly ventilated and maintained yurts will not accumulate mold or mildew. Some older neglected units may have stubborn mildew issues. If you try applying commercial mold and mildew cleaners and repellants from stores like Home Depot, test the product in an unnoticeable area first.
Installation: We provide a thorough installation manual so you can raise your yurt properly. You will use a variety of tools, climb ladders, lift heavy and awkward objects – use good judgement and common sense to stay safe. Work within the group’s abilities and always put safety first. Rainier recommends that you hire licensed and bonded contractors for site work, plumbing, heating and electrical. In all cases, comply with building codes.
Inspect and maintain your yurt periodically to be sure the platform remains secure, the purse cable stays tight, the roof is cleaned as necessary, etc.
We believe that our exceptional quality and attention to detail are what makes Rainier Yurts elegant, comfortable, and – of course – safe.
Enjoy the journey!