There was a time when the only fix for sinking sidewalks, patios, driveways, or uneven foundations was to rip out the old slab and pour a new one, and spend a great deal of time and money in the process. However, today, a less intensive & invasive alternative known as mudjacking (also called concrete leveling, pressure grouting or slabjacking) pumps a masonry A sunken concrete sidewalk in desperate need of repairslurry underneath a sunken/compromised concrete slab to raise it back into place.
Concrete sinks or settles because its underlying support, for various reasons, gives way. The original concrete may have been installed on dirt or other underlying materials that hadn’t been compacted sufficiently, for instance, or soil erosion may be responsible. And some soil simply settles naturally over many years. Regardless of the cause or issue, sunken concrete can lead to many structural defects, including failed retaining walls, foundation settling, uneven junctions of concrete, sunken sidewalks, uneven concrete pads, cracked foundations, and bowed basement walls. If left uncorrected, these defects can lead to unwanted water runoff and major structural problems.
And, aside from the shabby appearance and hindered functionality of an uneven sidewalk, steps or walkway, sunken concrete can create major trip hazards for which the owner is liable.
The mudjacking process
First, small holes are drilled into the concrete, through which a slurry is pumped that may be composed of various materials, such as sand, cement, soil, limestone, bentonite clay, water or expanding polymers. The particular mixture is based on the type of application and the mudjacker’s preference. The slurry then fills any gaps and forces the concrete to rise back into place before the drilled holes are plugged up with cement, leaving the only visible evidence of the repair. Over the next day, the slurry solidifies and stabilizes the subsoil, making further sinking unlikely.

While this is not an overly complicated procedure, it should be performed only by a trained professional, as amateur workmanship may cause even more extensive damage. Drain pipes, sewers and utilities must be located and avoided, and the area must be adequately evaluated as to whether it can survive the mudjacking process.

Some advantages of mudjacking over re-pouring cement include:The only evidence left of mudjacking is the patched hole through which the slurry was pumped. Photo produced by InterNACHI member Mike Morgan.
  • Efficiency. Mudjacking requires less equipment and fewer workers. Adjacent plants and landscaping are also disturbed less, as are neighbors, tenants and passersby by the loud noise, dust and cumbersome equipment;
  • $. Mudjacking typically costs roughly half as much as concrete replacement because there is little need for new cement or the removal of old concrete. The overall cost is based on the area of concrete that must be lifted, which may be as little as $5 per foot. Thus, for a 5×4-foot job, it might cost just $60 or so, although the mudjacker may charge more if the area is in a hard-to-reach location;
  • Speed. Mudjacking takes hours, while certain concrete pours may take days; and
  • Environmentally friendly. Mudjacking makes use of perfectly good concrete, which would otherwise be sent to a landfill.
Limitations of Mudjacking
Mudjacking may be an ineffective waste of resources in the following situations:
  • The concrete surface is spalling or otherwise damaged. The mudjacking process might further damage the surface, which will still be defective even after it’s raised back into place.
  • The concrete has risen, caused by clay or expansive soil, which is prevalent around Defiance and Northwest Ohio. Typically, the only solution for this defect is to bust out the old, discard, & then re-pour the cement.
  • The cause of the settling is not addressed. If the soil has settled due to some external factor, the problem must be fixed or the soil will sink again in the future. For instance, a gutter downspout that drains onto a concrete edge must be corrected in order to avoid the need for future repair.
  • The underlying soil is swampy.
  • There is a sinkhole beneath the concrete.
In summary, mudjacking is an inexpensive, fast and clean way to level a sunken concrete slab.
by Joshua Frederick & Nick Gromicko



The “Savvy” Homeowner – Chimney Repair

Chimney repair – certainly not a DIY job, in the majority of cases.  IMO, the only thing a homeowner should be doing is punching in a phone # on their cell phones for a chimney professional, especially if the chimney is masonry.  Of course, there’s always going to be “that guy.” You know, the one who insists on doing it all.  A MacGyver mentality. Saves the money. Defines macho.

Enter the Savvy Homeowner.

Problem: Masonry chimney has a hole that needs filled because there’s a new furnace that doesn’t need to vent into it anymore.  Additionally, the bricks and mortar are deteriorated from moisture due to your savvy rooftop repairs.

Savvy homeowner answer: Duct tape.  Lots of duct tape. Enough layers will seal off those dangerous water heater gases from entering the building envelope.  It also helps hold all the deteriorated masonry together.

2017-07-12 14.24.36

Everyone with half a brain knows magical flex tape should have been used instead 😉



Buying a house that you think may contain some “savvy” homeowner workmanship/repairs/contraptions? 

Call 419-782-8924 or visit 

24-104638-jpeg-t104638ASPEC Residential Services, LLC – Northwest Ohio Home Inspections


Josh Frederick, CPI®





The REAL Spiderman

Peter Parker? Don’t think so. The true Web-Crawler can be found traipsing underneath homes throughout Defiance and Northwest Ohio. Does whatever a spider can (except swinging between buildings).


The real Web-Head

-Compliments of Your Friendly Neighborhood Home Inspector cropped-24-104638-jpeg-t104638.jpg

The Savvy Homeowner

Each post in this blog series will feature tips or tricks from the “more-than-just-ordinary” homeowner, the Savvy homeowner.  The Savvy homeowner is one who’s creative…different….special.  Always thinking outside the box.  Always wanting to save money, by not hiring those crooked, expensive contractors. Savvy homeowners are frugal homeowners.  Their brilliant minds often corrupted with social media posts along with the ever-so-far-from-reality TV shows (they always make it looks so easy and fun, don’t they?) The Savvy Homeowner is full of faith – they believe in themselves, and the idea that anyone can do home repairs and improvements with a Home Depot ‘Let’s do this’ attitude, a “sleeves rolled up” look, and “anything can be done with a little elbow grease” mentality. And they always have friends or family to support their cause and help them to get those daunting, bigger home repairs and tasks completed. A high-five support network, if you will. There’s also always backup or the ultimate help: a super-handy Uncle who won’t take your money, but will happily accept payment in the form of Pabst (6, 12 , or 24 packs, depending on the job) to help shingle the roof or to wire up the hot tub.

Hire expensive professionals to do the job?  No way. Not for the Savvy Homeowner.  Not when there’s duct tape, spray foam, multiple types of caulking, and buckets of roofing tar for sale at the big box home improvement store.


They simply know how to save time and money.

They git er’ dun. Their way.  The only way.


Josh Frederick is a Home Inspector in Defiance, Ohio and frolics throughout Defiance,


The look, when in the presence of genuine savviness

Napoleon, Bryan and all of the surrounding areas in Northwest Ohio. He has extensive knowledge and training in identifying the works and practices of the Savvy Homeowner.  He sees and experiences these less-than-professional practices, amusing attempts, SMH travesties, WTH contraptions,  “Give me a break”  situations, Are you kidding me? ideas, Am I dreaming? endeavors, & failed aspirations on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis.  In fact, the Savvy Homeowner, often gets him thinking on how he maybe should have taken a different career path, like an accountant or pool cleaner. It is what it is though, and in the grand scheme of things, the Savvy Homeowner ensures that he has work and can put food on the family table.


Buying a house that you think may contain some savvy workmanship/repairs/contraptions? Contact 24-104638-jpeg-t104638ASPEC Residential Services, LLC – Northwest Ohio Home Inspections – the “savvy homeowner specialists.”



Why Get a Home Inspection If You’re Buying “As Is”?

Some sellers – often, those working without an agent – want to sell their home “as is” so they don’t have to invest money fixing it up or take on any potential liability for defects.  There is nothing wrong with buying a home “as is,” particularly if you can buy it at a favorable price, but if you are considering buying an “as is” home, you should still hire a competent and professional home inspector to perform an inspection.  There are several reasons for this.

First, you don’t know what “as is” is, unless, of course, it looks like this:


In all seriousness, sure you can probably walk through the home and get an idea of its general condition.  You may even spot some defects, conditions, or items in obvious need of repair or “TLC” (as these properties are often advertised.)  Please understand though, and let me unequivocally assure you – you won’t obtain the same detailed information you will receive if you hire ASPEC for your home inspection.  I am trained to look for things you are not likely to notice.


As if “as is” is written in stone for every possible condition and concern

Being an InterNACHI home inspector, I must follow InterNACHI’s Residential Standards of Practice and check the roof, exterior, interior, foundation, basement, fireplace, attic, insulation, ventilation, doors, windows, heating and cooling system, plumbing system, and electrical system for certain defects.  Armed with our detailed report, you will have a much better and clearer idea of what “as is” means regarding that home, which means you’ll be in a better position to know whether you want to buy it.  You may also be able to use information from the home inspection to negotiate a lower price, regardless if the “as is” catchall moniker keeps getting thrown at you.

Second, the state of Ohio requires the seller to provide you with a written disclosure about the condition of the property.  Sellers often provide little information, and a few even lie.  A home inspection can provide the missing information. If there is evidence that a seller concealed information or lied to you, that may be a sign that you don’t want to buy a home from that seller.

Finally, if you buy a home “as is” without hiring a home inspector and then later discover a defect, all is not lost.  A home inspector may be able to review the seller’s disclosure and testify as to what the seller knew or should have known about.  The inspector may find evidence that the seller made misrepresentations or concealed relevant information from you.  Even the seller of an “as is” home may be held liable for misrepresentation or concealment.

But the better choice, obviously, is to hire a home inspector first.  Remember:  The cost of a home inspection is a pittance compared to the price of the home.  Be an informed consumer, especially when buying an “as is” home, and hire your Defiance and Northwest Ohio InterNACHI Certified Professional Inspector®, Joshua L. Frederick.

Article by Mark Cohen, J.D., LL.M., InterNACHI General Counsel,
Nick Gromicko, InterNACHI Founder, and Joshua L. Frederick, CPI®


Your Defiance & NW Ohio Home Inspector

Soaring temperatures – Maintaining your AC system

It’s been a brutally warm summer so far throughout Northwest Ohio. During these times, nothing works harder than your AC. Make sure you’re checking/maintaining them to avoid any surprises. Here’s a few helpful suggestion to keep your system running at peak performance:
  • Ensure the duct taping and plastic visqueen is secure/intact to avoid any wasted            energy.
  • Make sure the extension cords are all well secured and not showing signs of overheating.
  • Look over the 2 x 4 supporting structure to make sure it’s solid and that there are no loose/broken drywall screws.
  • Make sure the kitty litter drip pan is not full of water and the condensate pump is working properly.
  • If you can find the filter, replace it every month.
These simple, proactive tips will ensure you and your family are kept cool and comfortable during these scorching summer days.Homemade AC

Our Home Inspection Reports

The home inspection report.  IMO (along with judges and lawyers), the most important aspec_logopart of the whole inspection process. Documented info. We spend more time on the reports, than we do inspecting. After all, this is what the client has to remember us by (not my charming personality☺.)

Our reports are definitely much longer and more detailed/comprehensive than most. This I can unequivocally assure you. Usually 75 – 100+ pages.  Usually upwards of 75+ pictures/graphics.  Videos.  Internet links.  Color-coded reference tags. Cost estimate resource.  Yearly maintenance tips. And more.

Very easy to read and understand, though. Crafted and tailored just for you. And just because the report may be “longer”, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a “bad” house. They just contain all the pertinent information needed for a home purchase and ownership thereafter in a clear and concise manner.  A home inspection report encompasses everything, so it should be fairly large, wouldn’t you agree? (I’ve seen garage door opener manuals that are longer!) Some reports also just have more findings/info within, especially if it’s an older home or one that has suffered through years of neglect. The “main” stuff for the real estate transaction is, for the most part, contained within the summary section (homebuyers may want other stuff within the report attended to and/or is “summary-worthy” in their opinion, though. After all, it’s their money, and their family that will be living there.)

Along with real estate transactional and disclosure/informational purposes, our reports are created to be “a custom homeowners manual” of sorts.  Most folks don’t realize just how much stuff there is going on around the exterior and contained within the four walls of their home.  There are a multitude of systems, components,  pieces, & parts. We strive to provide you an accurate and detailed documented assessment of those things (minus most of the cosmetic stuff that you probably noticed anyway.) In essence, our reports double as a “repair/home improvement guide” to use during the course of homeownership. Something to reference for years to come. It’s also not a generic book (that some inspectors like to hand out to “beef up” their skimpy reports with) about houses that pertains to any house in the country. It’s for your specific house.

I also know from experience, that completing/finalizing the report away from the job, is a must.  There are many times I have to sit and ponder things, research, study, put things in perspective, etc. etc. – away from all “influences, circumstances, and pressures” at the site.  I also have access to an ultimate resource – I’m able consult with Home Inspection Professionals all around the world if I have a question on something or need some input/insight/advice on something I’m not clear on (yes, I’m human! yes, I don’t know everything!  yes, I’m not afraid to ask for help! yes, I’ll do whatever it takes to provide you with a detailed and accurate inspection report!) Anyone that gives you a report on site is probably giving you a “bare minimum” inspection – just what you don’t want, need, or deserve.

Along with an emailed report within 24 hrs. to the homebuyer and their representing agent, we also print, bind, and mail a copy to the homebuyer.  This is unheard of by most inspectors.  Truth is, it is a lot more time & work.  People love it though and that’s why we do it.

So before you initially “freak out” about the length of the report, read a few reviews about our reports from folks who used ASPEC in the past:

-“I liked the pictures of each issue.  The report itself rocked.  Great attention to detail.”
– “Detailed with good pictures and comprehensive report.  Nice hard copy to keep on file.”
-“The report was easy to understand.”
-“Very technology advanced report…I absolutely loved the report.  I can hold onto that for many years.”
-“The final report was amazing! Very well put together and easy to understand. Exceptional work.”
-“The report was very detailed.  I like that you mailed a copy also. Very satisfied.”
-“Very well documented.”
-“Report has lots of useful info.”
-“Liked the very thorough report.”
-“Liked the layout of the information.  Easy to follow.”
-“We really liked the detailed paperwork we get as well.”
-“The inspection and report were much more detailed and complete than I had anticipated.  As a result, many repairs were made by the seller, saving me a great deal of time and money. Thank  you!”
-“My husband and I loved the pictured report.  You do excellent work.”
-“Liked the very thorough reports, use of pictures & personalized messages.”
-“Very in depth- everything back in a timely manner. Nicely laid out.”
-“The report is very easy to understand and contains a lot of detail and helpful information.”
-“I liked the pictures which gave an accurate idea of what is going on under the house & other places I couldn’t actually see.”
-“Good report with great explanations.”
-“Liked that the report included links and pictures of how to correct items in need of attention.”
-“Helpful links for DIY projects on areas that need work.  It is refreshing to know that we had all the possible information to help aid in our decision.”
-“The final report was awesome. Very thorough and gave suggestions on how to fix problems.”
-“Great final report.”
-“Like that the book on the house came in the mail within days of the inspection. Very detailed.”
-“Complete information in an easy to read binder.”
-“We especially loved the binder we received – it’s so handy for future repairs!”
-“His report has & continues to help me prepare.”
-“Like the very detailed outline of your findings. Easy to read & well organized.  Very complete.”
-“My husband & I were very pleased with the detailed report.  I can see all the work you put into it on our behalf.”
-“Report was very complete.”
-“My friends in my office were impressed with your report as well.”
-“…very in depth and professional.”
-“Very professional report.”
-“I’m sure I will use the well written report and the include remarks and recommendations frequently as I learn more about home maintenance.”
-“We liked all the pictures in the report with explanations.”
-“Detailed & easy to read report.”
-“Pictures helped immensely, and graphics helped display new concepts…Incredibly thorough and educational.”
-“Very organized!”
-“Very nice report – very professional – prompt feedback.”
-“Very useful report w/videos on DIY & pricing for replacement of household items.”
-“I am very pleased & impressed with the report.”
-“Neat and well put together report.”
-“Very easy to understand.  The report gave us a list of improvements we can make and also gave us information to watch for in the future.”
-“Inspection report was very detailed, easy to read, and a negotiating tool that gave me an advantage for asking a lower price.  Which was successful.”
-“Report was easy to read & very descriptive.”
-“Professional report.”
-“We LOVED your detailed report that included links and pictures.”
-“Liked that attention to detail and the thoroughness of report, and color-coded key on the report helped in determining what needed attention  prior to us purchasing the house and provided a quick reference on what to fix as we moved in.”
-“The book was very professional.”
-“I liked the book with all the explanations in it.”
-“Excellent & detailed report.”
-“The inspection report was very detailed, a lot of info to go over, very professional and well done.”
-“Highly detailed home inspection report.”
-“Loved all the detail. The report had plenty of pictures and included a “what to expect” for homeowners section.”
“We were impressed and overwhelmed (in a good way) with the detail of the house inspection report. Well laid out, and great info. for the future when we want to make any changes or improvements to the house.  We certainly got our value!”

I could keep going and going, but I think you have a general idea ☺. If our reports don’t meet your expectations or completely educate you about the property you’re buying, we didn’t do our job. If that’s the case, we certainly want to know, so we can make it right!

In a nutshell, our reports can be compared with the old slogan for Glad® trash bags… Ours: Hefty, hefty, hefty. And theirs?  Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy. 😉


If you would like a sample report or schedule an inspection, please contact us.

cropped-24-104638-jpeg-t104638.jpgASPEC Residential Services, LLC  – providing Home Inspections, the way they should be, throughout Defiance and all of Northwest Ohio.

We are a full-time, family-owned and operated home inspection company saving families from buying potential Familymoney pits throughout Defiance and Northwest Ohio since 2007. We are always on your side, the homebuyer, and treat you like family.  The vast majority of our clients are past clients, their family members, friends, or co-workers of theirs. 

Buying a home in Defiance Ohio or anywhere else in Northwest Ohio? “See” the difference by getting an ASPEC Home Inspection!  We set ourselves apart from the others by always putting you first and delivering an exceptionally thorough, comprehensive, and educational experience each and every time – and when we say that, we really mean it!