Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

Family always getting sick

Why is my family always getting sick? Here are 6 reason’s why your home may be the cause.

So your family is always getting sick and you’re wondering if there’s something you can do about it? There may be several reasons why your family might be getting sick or fighting off a cold. While some factors may be outside your control, controlling your environment and ensuring it’s a healthy one is something you can influence. Here a few issues you want to address to ensure your home remains healthy all year round.

Moisture and mold in the home

One of the most common issues New Zealand homes face is too much moisture in the home. This can lead to mold growth and a number of health and respiratory issues. You’ll know you have a problem if you start seeing damp or wet windows in the morning or mold starting to grow on the walls or carpets. This is usually a sign that your house isn’t well insulated on ventilated and these issues should be addressed as soon as possible.

Not enough ventilation

Ensuring your home has good extractor fans in the bathrooms and kitchen areas is another thing to look at. Removing excess moisture from the home is important to keep a dry and healthy home. Extractor fans are inexpensive and readily accessible from most major appliance stores around New Zealand.

Not enough insulation

Fully insulating your home is an important step to stop your family from always getting sick. It’s important that your home’s thermal envelope is intact with no breaks in the walls. Most New Zealand homes have floor or ceiling insulation however many homes do not have any wall insulation and can lead to cold and damp homes in the winter. Having your walls insulated makes it easier to heat and cool your home and will significantly improve the quality of your home living and have a positive impact on your family’s health and wellbeing.

The team at CosyWall Insulation can provide you a free home assessment and advise on the best steps to ensure your house is properly insulated.

Your home can’t breathe

Opening the windows and doors in your house for just 15 minutes in the morning lets fresh air into your home. This helps keep your home dry and helps remove any unwanted odors or bad smells.

Not enough natural light

Sunshine is great for your health and wellbeing. It helps boost your vitamin D, improves your mental health, and is easier on your eyes. Studies have shown that the more natural light you’re exposed to the better sleep you experience! We all know a good night’s sleep is important for your immune system.

Get rid of dust and toxins

Avoid using chemicals in the home! Pesticides and chemicals are known to cause damage to the central nervous system and can also lead to other problems such as asthma and cancer. Be careful where you use sprays and cleaners and make sure if you are using them you take appropriate precautions such as wearing protective equipment and making sure there is adequate ventilation.

Dust is another cause of many health issues and allergies. Regularly vacuum your place and be careful when emptying your vacuum cleaner to make sure dust isn’t spewed back into the air.

Here’s a short video that explains what you can do to ensure you’re home is a healthy one and stop your family from always getting sick.

Cool down your house this summer

How to cool your house down in the summer

Five few ways to cool down your house this summer!”

Summertime has arrived in New Zealand and it looks like we’re in for a hot and humid one this year! You’ve probably arrived here because your searching for ways to cool your house down and With it being so hot and sticky, we thought we’d recommend our top 5 ideas to keep your house cool this summer!

Close those curtains

You may not realise but up to 30% of your unwanted heat is actually coming in through your windows. Closing your curtains or blinds can help keep your home helps to shade the inside of your home and stops your living space from turning into a greenhouse. Investing in blackout curtains, especially on your south and west-facing windows will help even further and provide additional insulation to your rooms.

Close off your unused rooms

If you are running a heat pump or fan in your home, these will be working overtime to cool down your house this summer. Make their life a little bit easier by closing doors and rooms you’re not occupying. This means whatever cooling appliances you do have will be more effective and this will also help to reduce your energy consumption!

Remember to adjust your ceiling fans

If you’re lucky enough to have a ceiling fan, you must remember to reverse the direction in summer. In winter those fans help to move warm air up and around your home but in summer you want the fan set to a higher speed and pushing air straight down to create a cooling effect. Make sure you check your fan is rotating in the right direction?

Make use of your BBQ

Change things up in the summer months by taking your cooking outdoors. The last thing you want to do is take an already hot house and make it even hotter by turning the oven on. Cooking dinner in the backyard or at the park is a much better alternative on those particularly humid evenings!

Ensure your home is fully insulated

For most kiwi’s, insulation (or lack thereof) is something you usually think about in the winter months. This is understandable as all the advertising we see for insulation is about it being used to keep your home warm. What you may not realise is that insulation is equally effective at keeping your home cool in the summer months!

Insulation works a little bit like your chilly bin does. It provides a barrier that stops the outside air from getting inside. I know your natural instinct is to open all the windows and doors to let the fresh air in however in the summer when it’s 32 degrees outside, the last thing you want is a hot and humid home.

A fully insulated house means that what effort you put into cooling down your house will be much more effective. It also stops the home from heating up as quickly, helping to keep the indoor temperature easier to control throughout the summer.

CosyWall Insulation is an excellent insulation product making it easy to retrofit your existing walls. It’s easily blown into your existing walls without having to remove the linings and for most homes, the process can be done in a single day. It’s not only going to help keep your home cool in the summer, but it will also work to keep the home warm in the winter!

Talk to the team today to find out how you can have CosyWall Insulation installed in your walls!

Soundproof your home with insulation

Ways to soundproof your home

So you’re looking for ways to soundproof your home? You’ve come to the right place. As house sizes in New Zealand get smaller, one of the questions we are often asked is how do you reduce the noise transfer between walls?

New Zealand has historically been bad for building poor quality homes and while recently standards have improved, in dense urban areas, noise in the home is a big issue for many New Zealanders.

Soundwaves enter your home through windows, doors, floors, ceilings, and walls so your goal when looking at soundproofing your home is to block them out.

There are two main types of noise you want to try and control in your home. The first is preventing exterior noise from entering the home and the second is noise transfer between rooms inside your home. In this article we discuss some ways that you can help soundproof your home, reducing noise transfer.

1. Add a second layer of plaster board

Adding a second layer of plasterboard is a great way to cut down noise transfer. Most plasterboard companies have specific noise reduction products which made a difference. Researching the right plasterboard options will immensely help soundproof your home and adding two layers of plasterboard to your walls help reduce noise transfer even further particularly for the higher sound frequencies.

2. Insulate your walls will help soundproof your home

Insulation is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to soundproof your home. While your standard batts will help to some degree, your goal is to really provide dense barrier without gaps.

CosyWall Insulation is a perfect product for this purpose as it’s blown directly into your internal or external wall cavities without having to remove the linings. The dry fiber is blown at such a high density it fills up all the small gaps often left by batts or segments and provides an effective barrier against high and mid-frequency noise transfer between walls.

3. Get the right flooring

Flooring also makes a big difference in dampening noise transfer to soundproof your home. Hardwood floors are typically bad at blocking noise, especially when used as part of your mid-floors. Adding a soft flooring product such as vinyl or even newer hybrid planking with a good underlay is one option however your gold standard is carpet. The thicker the carpet and underlay, the better results you’re going to gain in stopping noise transfer.

4. Seal your windows and doors

Like air, the noise will try and get through any gaps in your home so ensuring your windows and doors are sealed well is critical. Windows in older homes aren’t well-sealed so upgrading the joinery and adding double glazed windows will make a significant difference to noise reduction.

Likewise, doors are often hollow in the center so if noise reduction is really important, replacing these with solid doors will also help. It’s also best practice to ensure doors are well sealed and there are specific products from your local hardware store that can help with this.

Do you need some help?

There are other specialty products and systems that can also make a big impact on noise control. If you’re serious about reducing the noise in your home have a chat with the CosyWall team for an obligation-free assessment today.

How to keep your home warm this winter

We’re only few months away from winter, so it’s time to start preparing! Colder weather results in colder homes, which can affect our health. It’s important to start thinking about how to protect you and your family from cold’s, flu’s, and other nasties this winter – including how to keep your home warm to help reduce the risks of catching those winter woes.

Here’s some tips on how to keep your home warm this winter.

1. LET THE SUNLIGHT IN DURING THE DAY
While many winter days may be rainy and cloudy, we often see winter days with the sun out and shining. Even on cold days, the sun is still warm. So once the sun is up, capture in that free heat by opening up your curtains and letting that sunshine in before you leave your house in the mornings.

2. MAKE USE OF YOUR CURTAINS
Like opening up your curtains during the day, it’s important to shut them as soon as it gets dark. Curtains act as another layer of insulation to keep warmth and dryness in your rooms. If you don’t have quality curtains, and are thinking of replacing them – think about getting ‘thermal’ curtains which are best at keeping the warmth in.

3. REARRANGE YOUR FURNITURE FOR WARMTH
Every room has a warmer and colder point depending on where your windows and doors are positioned. You will feel warmer if you position yourself closer to the inside of the house, because your cold, external walls are further away. Or perhaps your sofa is currently near a window. In this case, you may feel warmer if you move your sofa to a position in the room where it’s further away from your windows and doors. Think about practical ways you can rearrange your furniture to maximise warmth within your home.

4. SEAL YOUR LEAKS AND HOLES
Ever noticed that cool draft in your home that comes out of nowhere? That’s often due to leaks through windows, doors, basements, and other spots in the house. Walk around your home to figure out where that draft is coming from, and seal it. Windows and doors are best solved with spray foam insulation, and other holes can be blocked by caulk.

5. LAYER YOUR WOODEN FLOORS
Architecture Now states that 10% of heat is lost through wooden floors. If you’ve got wooden floors in your home, it’s a good idea to make use of rugs to keep your rooms warmer. If you want to go the extra mile, opting for carpet can do wonders in making your home feel warmer and cosier.

6. MAXIMISE YOUR INSULATION
It’s estimated that homes without sufficient insulation lose 42% of its heat through the roof, 24% through its walls, and 10% through the floors. That is a huge amount of heat loss! To ensure your home is warm this winter, it’s time to assess your current insulation. One of the CosyWall professionals can help assess the insulation in your home, and make necessary adjustments to improve your insulation.

10 DIY home hacks you’ll love

Home maintenance and cleaning isn’t always fun, but it can be with these DIY home hacks! Here are 10 easy ways to help you keep your home tidier and more organised.

1.       KEEPING YOUR POWER OUTLETS ORGANISED

Nothing’s more annoying than pulling out the wrong chord from a full power extension outlet! Use washi tape to add labels to the various cables plugged into your power strips. That way, it you ever need to unplug something, you can do so without accidentally cutting out the TV or phone!

2. GET RID OF DENTED CARPET MARKS FROM FURNITURE

Re-arranging furniture around your home can be exciting, until you see all those dented marks on your carpet. To get rid of them, all you need is some ice cubes!

Place the ice cubes along the carpet dent and wait for them to melt. Once they’re melted, wipe up the excess water with a dishtowel and voila! Your carpet should turn back to its original state.

3. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF SHOE ORGANISERS

Don’t be fooled – shore organisers don’t only need to be used for shoes. They’re extremely useful for organising a whole bunch of other things! From your shower supplies, craft supplies, and makeup – they are so versatile they can virtually be used for anything.

4. MAKE YOURSELF A DIY BLIND CLEANER

Cleaning blinds is a tedious job. Make your life easier with this DIY blind cleaner that’ll save you a heck of time.

All you’ll need is a pair of tongs, two microfibre dust cloths, and 4 rubber bands. Follow the instructions in this video and get ready for the most efficient blind cleaning hack ever!

5. USE A POWER DRILL FOR DEEP CLEANING

Cleaning places like your bathtub and shower takes a lot of elbow grease. If you’ve got a cordless drill at home, simply add on a brush or foam ball to the tip and turn it on! It’s tough on grime and will help you clean with ease.

6. APPLY NAIL POLISH TO WINDOW HOLES

Spotted a tiny hole in your window? Clear nail polish can help. Simply apply a coat then wait for it to dry. Repeat until the layers of nail polish are flush with the glass surface.

7. POLISH COPPER WITH KETCHUP

Got some copper items at home that are looking tarnished? Tomato sauce can do the trick. Trust us, this is no joke! Squirt some sauce on a rag, sprinkle on some salt on top and then rub the mixture on your item. Repeat until you’ve covered every inch of the surface, and then rinse. Once done, your item will look good as new.

8. DIY CLEANING SOLUTION

Keen to make your own natural cleaning solution? White vinegar can do wonders. You’ll need 1 part vinegar, 3 parts water, and 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Add the mixture into a spray bottle and fill the remaining amount with hot water.

You can even infuse the mixture with other essential oils to make the solution smell amazing.

9. TUCK CHALK IN YOUR TOOLBOX TO STOP RUST

Placing chalk in your toolbox can help keep your metal tools rust-free. Chalk is a moisture-sucking material that traps dampness. If you place several pieces throughout your toolbox, it’ll protect your items from rusting.

10. USE PAINTER’S TAPE FOR A PERFECT CAULK JOB

Applying caulk in a straight line isn’t an easy task! Painter’s tape can help. You’ll need to clean the area you’re caulking first, and when dry, apply the painters tape to the area you’ll be caulking. Start caulking, and make sure to peel off the tape while the caulk is still wet.

Fore more DIY and home tips, head to the CosyWall Insulation blog!

5 tips for renovating in winter

Renovating this winter? It’s not always an easy feat with chilly and unpredictable weather, however, sometimes it just has to be done! While it may be the most difficult time of the year to undergo a renovation project, there are a few ways to make your winter renovation more manageable.

Here’s 5 tips to make your renovations go a little smoother this winter.

PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!
Planning for renovation in any season is essential, however, it’s doubly important in winter. Cold and nasty weather can complicate some of the processes of your renovation – deliveries, demolitions, and other external repairs. It’s important to plan for all of this ahead of time by buying and receiving deliveries of bigger equipment and products earlier, before the worst of winter hits.

PREPARE FOR ANY DELAYS
The likelihood of any renovation delays increases during winter due to the weather and lack of daylight hours that can slow down progress. This is why it’s important to prepare for any delays you may experience during your renovation and ensure your start and completion dates of the project are flexible enough to take into account any unforeseen circumstances that may affect when the work will be finished.

PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM NASTY WEATHER
With rain and windy weather forecasted during your renovation, you’ll need to ensure your home is protected once your tradies leave for the night. Things like plastic sheets, and boards can help cover holes, and block out the wind and rain to protect your home from any damage during your project.

KEEP YOUR WINTER RENOVATION PROJECTS TO A MINIMUM
Winter weather can be unpredictable, so you don’t want to take on more than you can handle. Keep to one or two small projects at a time to ensure it gets done and is finished correctly. Any other major renovation projects you want to undergo can wait till winter’s over.

HIRE PROFESSIONALS
When renovating in winter, it’s crucial to hire trustworthy professionals to help you do the job. Trying to save costs by using the cheapest freelance builder can cost you more in the long run. Someone who has no experience renovating in winter can ruin important aspects of your renovation.