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EXTENDING THE LIFE OF YOUR SHELTER

All Folded Homes structures (both Yurts and Pods) are manufactured from polypropylene extruded plastic.  Unless the polypropylene is protected, over time the sun’s UV rays will cause the plastic to become brittle, crack and fail. [See EXTRUDED PLASTIC – WHAT’S THAT?, and EXTRUDED PLASTIC DEGRADATION MECHANISMS]

IcoPods, DecaPods, UtiYurts and LiteYurts are manufactured with standard polypropylene.  TekYurts are manufactured with UV-enhanced polypropylene that roughly doubles its resistance to UV-degradation over standard polypropylene. [See UV-ENHANCED PLASTIC (FH YURTS)] UV-enhanced polypropylene does not prevent UV-degradation; it only slows its progression.

To prevent UV-degradation you must cover the outside of your structure with a material that blocks the sun’s UV rays. If you are interested in transforming your structure into a permanent structure, you might consider Fiberglassing it. You will not be able to disassemble it easily if you do so however.

Alternately you can “paint” the outside surface of the extruded plastic sheets with any one of the many opaque roofing patch materials available or use a material like Rhino. These cover materials can be all be applied with a paint roller, are all quite thick, and provide excellent coverage. These surface materials will also further waterproof your structure by additionally sealing the wall panel edges and the roof gutters or by further sealing the tape of your Pod.

You can also use an opaque paint that adheres to plastic although it will not have particularly good water proofing characteristics.

Since the damage from UV is cumulative, Folded Homes® strongly recommends that if you plan to protect your structure in one of these ways that you do it as quickly as possible.

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DOOR-HANDLE REPAIR (TEKYURTS & UTIYURTS)

TekYurt and UtiYurt doors use a plastic handle both inside and out.  Over time, this handle may break.   It can be replaced with a new plastic handle or if necessary by a piece of knotted rope. [See FH YURT LONG-DOOR KIT,  and DUTCH DOORS – WHAT ARE THEY?]

Installation of a knotted replacement rope requires removing the door from the door frame by unbolting it and partially disassembling the door to open its side so that you have access to the latch mechanism inside.

The image right top shows a TekYurt door latch being placed inside a door. The image left bottom shows how the ends of the plastic handles clip into the latch and extend out to each side of the door.  In the image right bottom you see the plastic handle “T” heads clipped into the inside of the latch.  These would be replaced by rope knots if a rope handle was installed.

To install a rope handle you feed each end of the rope through the outer panel of the door and the rope end into the door latch on that side.  Then you knot each end on the inside of the door latch so it won’t pull out.  Tying a washer or stick into the knot will help keep if from pulling out. When the rope door latch has been installed you rebuild the door and reinstall it on its hinge in the TekYurt wall.

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HINGE REPAIR (FH YURTS)

After long and active service it is possible that a FH Yurt door or window hinge will break along the hinge fold.  If this happens simply unbolt it and install a replacement. [See FH YURT HINGE KIT]

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REPAIRING EXTRUDED PLASTIC

Extruded plastic is extremely tough.  It will flex in the direction tangential to its surface, but it will not stretch or tear.  If you’ve got a sharp object or big claws you can puncture it, but it is almost impossible to rip.  [See BEAR ATTACK – HOW TOUGH IS EXTRUDED PLASTIC?, and EXTRUDED PLASTIC – WHAT’S THAT?]
If the plastic becomes deformed because something falls on it, it can usually simply be popped back into the proper form.

If there is a puncture on the outside of your shelter you can repair it with tape.  You may want to consider applying the tape onto the inside face of the shelter’s outside panel so that the tape is less exposed to the elements.  Work through the access holes on the inside of the FH Yurt to do so.

We have never been able to pull apart two extruded plastic sheets we’ve bolted together with a single bolt, two washers, and a wing nut. But if by some miracle you do need to re-bolt two panels, simply poke a hole big enough for the bolt shank through the two neighbors and re-bolt near where the old bolt was located.

If one of your TekYurt’s window or door hinges finally breaks from long service, simply unbolt it and replace it with a new extruded plastic hinge.

If there is a leak along one of the seams of your FH Yurt roof, repair it from the inside. [See ROOF LEAK REPAIR (FH YURTS)]

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ROOF LEAK REPAIR (FH YURTS)

If there is a leak in your FH Yurt roof because of some distortion in the roof or other damage, the leak will typically show up as a leak along one of the interior rain gutters that radiate out from the center of the FH Yurt roof like the spokes of a wheel. It is usually trivial to fix the problem by applying a strip of tape down the seam between the two sections of the roof where the leak is occurring.  The tape is applied on the inside of the roof, so it is not necessary to climb on the roof to affect the repair. Since the tape is not exposed to the sun’s UV, almost any tape will work satisfactorily.  By carefully taping along the gutter seam you reestablish the pressure seal between the two panels and close the leak.  The water should not even reach the applied tape.
[See KEEPING DRY - ROOF DESIGN (FH YURTS)]

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STORING YOUR PLASTIC SHELTER

Folded Homes® shelters manufactured from polypropylene plastic have a prolonged shelf-life when not exposed to the sun’s ultra-violet (UV) rays. As long as the unassembled shelter is kept stored in its cardboard shipping box, it will not degrade.  If you disassemble your shelter, make sure you store it in a location where it is not subject to the sun’s UV rays.

The various parts of your plastic shelter are scored (pre-creased) to facilitate folding.  Until these parts are folded the first time, it is possible for the score lines to gradually fade since the plastic retains memory of its long-term form.  So it is important that you assemble or at least pre-fold your shelter at least once within a few months of receiving it. [See PREFOLDING EXTRUDED PLASTIC PARTS, and EXTRUDED PLASTIC – WHAT’S THAT?]

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