How long does it take a leak to dry out in a crawlspace?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by bounced, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. bounced

    bounced New Member


    Total plumbing ignoramus here, so maybe this is a stupid question.

    Found a leak under the house a few days ago. There's a wet spot in the wood around the toilet drain pipe and about a foot away one of the joists has a wet spot that's about a square foot (there's no direct link of wetness between the two areas, but I'm guessing the water is just running along the subfloor).

    I've replaced the toilet's wax seal; it was definitely old and around the flange felt wet, so I'm thinking this was the source of the leak BUT...

    The toilet hasn't been flushed since Saturday morning, and I can detect no decrease in the size of the wet spots. Shouldn't it be drying out by now, at least a little? I live in Athens GA, so the weather has been running from the 40s to the 60s F, if that makes a difference.

    Now I'm worrying that perhaps the toilet isn't the source of the leak.
  2. get a fan

    set a fan up in the crawl space
    and get some air moveing....

    that will dramatically have an affect on the spot...

    it could take days or weeks if the spot is large,

    but with some air movement, it will go away fast.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    It's sort of like asking, how high is up? Air movement, temperature, soil conditions, and how long it had been soaking in will all have a factor in how long it can take to dry out.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    If it has been leaking a long time, then the ground is saturated at that point and evaporation or seepage will not occur until the saturation dries up, which could be hours, days, or weeks depending on how extensive it is and what kind of soil you have there.
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