Monday, December 2, 2013

More Winter Preparation

This time of year, exercise is extremely important to me. Even with a few hours spent from an already short day, I am way more energetic and productive if I start it with a hike.

Last week I posted pics of the new, higher curb. We had enough dry weather that I was able to seal the bottom edge with a generous application of exterior-rated silicone caulk, let that cure, and then treat the wood with oil. This should force the water out and away from the yurt and prevent it from leaking underneath.

Next, I lifted the entire outer cover to reveal the house wrap layer. I went around and ensured that the overlap would push water from the roof to the outside of the wall. I taped it into place to ensure that it could not shift.

Then, following the advice of several friends, I was generous with the drainage that I added to the platform. If the water has somewhere else to go it won't build up the pressure that would force it under the curb, right? Next year I can worry about the water catchment setup. This year, I just need my home to stay dry.

Meanwhile, I continued processing the indigo. I dedicated a quarter of the yurt to getting it dried.

On sunny days I'd bring the stuff on the cloth outside for a few hours. See how low the shadows are? It's not much sun, but it's more than I have in the yurt.

I was then able to turn my attention to the 16' yurt that I'm using for storage this winter. Before I could approach anything else I had to deal with an engineering problem. Notice how the wall is being stretched at the bottom? This yurt was designed with only one tension band at the top. This would be fine except that the walls were tailored to be perfectly vertical. My answer is to add a second tension band around the very bottom to pull in that flare.

It's pretty simple, really. I added a couple of screw eyes to the door frame and used the handy-dandy trucker's knot to cinch it in. It took a few rounds of tightening and running around the yurt to lift and nudge sections that were caught on the deck, but eventually the whole thing stood more-or-less upright so the wall falls straight again.

Since this yurt has an impermeable vinyl cover, condensation would be a real issue if I tried to insulate it. As a result, it basically cannot be waterproofed so I need to seal and protect the wooden parts. I started with the ring, but will soon treat the door, lattice and rafters as well. While I was up there, I really enjoyed this unique view of the other yurt.

And, while I'm doing all of this winterizing, I still have to maintain my weaving production. Here's a view of the space set up for weaving.

And here's how I do my sewing these days. Since I don't have space set up for a dedicated sewing area I just use a little shelf to transform the loom into a sewing table. Maybe when the indigo is dry I can use some of that space for the treadle machine so I don't use up my little bit of solar power on sewing. This old machine is not "Energy Star" rated. I think every hour of sewing consumes about four hours of solar collection.

Today is the test. It has begun raining HARD. So far so good! There are two tiny moist spots on the floor near the wall where there are seams in the deck, but even they are not letting in enough water to run across the floor or let the lattice get wet.

As I watch how the waterproofing performs, I feel like some sort of border guard. Everything is pulled away from the walls so I can crawl around down there with a flashlight and search for a breach.

Oh, yeah, and we're expecting snow this week. It's another whole test scenario and one that I feel hopeful about.


Theresa said...

Glad that the drainage holes seem to be a workable solution for now. Don't be stingy with the size of the holes, ice and snow are not your friends when it comes to drainage. They will plug up those holes faster than you can say Jack Frost!
And Oregon is notorious for lots of rain on top of wet snow. If there is a natural dip in the platform use it to your advantage and make sure it is well shoveled so that the water will have someplace to shad out and you have someplace to push it away. Good luck, stay warm. It's going to get mighty chilly for the next week.

Blossom Merz said...

Thanks for the comment, Theresa. I'm not going to make the holes any larger than necessary because next year I have to pound in dowels to fill them all when I provision the water catchment system. For this winter, I'll be there to shepherd the water down those little holes and watch for problems. I've got to keep my eyes on the long term, though, and not create more work for myself later.