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DENVER, NC – When’s the last time you entered or even thought about the crawlspace under your house?

If it’s been a while, or never, Jason Lott and Luke Dodge don’t blame you. They’ve seen how unappealing the space can be: low to the ground, dark, moldy, dusty, filled with cobwebs, exposed to the soil.

But the Lincoln Charter School graduates also know that crawlspaces – even if they are a bit of a structural ugly duckling – are equally crucial to the health, upkeep and longevity of your home.

That’s why Lott and Dodge created DryWorx LLC, a new business offering a comprehensive suite of crawlspace basement waterproofing services and guaranteed transparency to the greater Lake Norman area and beyond.

“Nobody wants to mess with a crawlspace,” Lott says with a laugh. “That’s what I always tell people. But at the same time, it’s one of the most important parts of a home – it’s the foundation – and when moisture starts to get a hold of that area it completely destroys it. You’ve got to have a proper waterproofed crawlspace”

DryWorx specializes in crawlspace encapsulation: essentially, coating the entire area in a plastic shield that blocks natural groundwater and moisture from damaging your wooden foundation beams and insulation from several costly issues, including fungal growth, mold, rotting wood and termites.

But Lott and Dodge pride themselves on versatility, too: during DryWorx’s first year of operation, their 300- plus house calls have also included structural repair, drainage and basement waterproofing.

“It’s hard work,” Dodge says. “But it’s worth it.”

The business itself may be new – DryWorx, fully licensed with general liability insurance and based out of Denver, launched in May 2021 – but its employees have 7 plus years of hands-on experience in the field.

Lott, the company’s CEO, began his professional career in sales but picked up crawlspace work as a side gig around five years ago, eventually rising to top employee status at a major Charlotte company. He’s been in over 1,400 crawlspaces across the state, he says, which has led to a few odd encounters.

“You’d be surprised at some of the stuff I see down there,” Lott says. “I’ve seen lots and lots of snake skins. I’ve accidentally crawled on top of a brown snake. Probably the craziest one is when I found an old wallet with a social security card and debit cards under a house – it ended up dating back five owners.”

Reptile encounters notwithstanding, those low-to-the-ground experiences gave Lott, an avid disc golfer who’s also in the U.S. Marine Corps reserves, an immediate appreciation for crawlspace work.

And when he took a “shot in the dark” earlier this year by quitting his full-time job in hopes of starting his own business, Lott says he knew exactly who to turn to: Dodge, a longtime friend who graduated from UNC Wilmington last spring with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance.

Dodge, the company’s chief operations officer, grew up assisting with two family businesses, and he previously worked as an operations manager for a hammock store in Wilmington. Lott’s proposition piqued his interest, he says, because it offered him flexibility and a chance to “create your own destiny.”

“I’ve done sales & handy work  for years,” Dodge says, “and I’ve always liked how you get exactly out of it what you put into it. If you do things right and treat people well, you’re going to reap the rewards of your hard work.”

Lott’s direct experience and Dodge’s business acumen proved a perfect match – and it certainly didn’t hurt that they knew Denver like the back of their hand: as class of 2016 Lincoln Charter School alumni, they grew up on many a Friday night Cook Out run and nine-hole round of disc golf at Beatty’s Ford Park.

“We make it work together,” Dodge says.

DryWorx offers free inspections and “takes pride” in unflinching honesty, Lott says. He’s just as happy to confirm your crawlspace is in perfect condition as he is to offer a key repair at a fair price.

And that preventative work – drainage, encapsulation and waterproofing, among other services – can save homeowners big bucks, Lott says. Severe crawlspace damage can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000 to repair. But eliminating those issues before they arise is a far cheaper and smarter process.

“They’re not going to go down there themselves,” Lott says. “They’re relying on you 100% to go down there and evaluate it. It’s my job to be as transparent as possible, and that’s really important to me.”

Lott has always wanted to own his own business, he says, but things were so busy over the last few months he never had a chance to really sit down and process what he and Dodge had pulled off.

That changed in July after a local signage company completed detail work on his truck. When Lott pulled up to the shop and first saw his 2014 Chevy Silverado wrapped in red, green and white logos – “DryWorx Crawlspace & Basement Specialists,” the driver-side door read – it all sunk in. He grinned ear to ear.

“We’re not providing a want – we’re providing a need,” Lott says. “And it’s very rewarding. Even with how fast Denver is growing, at the end of the day it’s still a small town. I wake up every day and I’m so grateful, because it’s always been a dream of mine to build a company. This is my livelihood now, and when the truck got wrapped, I told Luke: ‘Dang, we made it.’ This is just a great community to be in.”