On the outer wall of my basement I have a couple of wet spots which I am trying to understand if they are drying up or not. ( I like to believe that I eliminated the source of water which was an incorrectly sloped patio) In order to determine if they are drying up in time I marked their margins with white chalk.

It has been some time since I did that and I do not see any change. Very dry weather here in Toronto or heavy rain left these spots unchanged.

In order to see if they are actually wet spots and not just some sort of darker mineral salt I would like to try to dry up one of these with a plumber torch
I am wondering if there could be any potential problems with doing this. Do you see any?

thanks in advance


You mean other than burning your house down? Yes, rocks that have water in them like to explode sometimes when you heat them. Use a fan and come back next week (seriously, if the wall is saturated it could take months to dry out).

Also, it's going to leave scorch marks, which will be less than helpful.

More also's: one of the by-products of combustion is H2O.

  • I am not going to apply the flame in a dumb way..going all in! It will be an on off exposure of the wall to the heat of the flame, let's not get apocaliptic here – MiniMe Aug 17 '15 at 23:40
  • 3
    You got a hair dryer, if so I would try that first. – WarLoki Aug 17 '15 at 23:44
  • Good idea! I will try this first – MiniMe Aug 18 '15 at 0:49

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