How to Waterproof Concrete Block Walls With Felt Paper


Felt paper is also called tar paper and roofing felt because it is infused with tar, which makes it waterproof. You can also use the paper on concrete walls in basements to prevent water from coming in and condensation from forming on walls. You need to install the felt paper below the surface of the ground and cover it with additional waterproofing material for proper protection. Although the process is straightforward, it requires renting heavy-duty equipment.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Tar
  • Tar kettle
  • Long sleeves and pants
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Mop
  • Felt paper
  • Utility knife
  • Dig a trench along the side of the concrete wall at least 12 inches deep. If it is new construction and sand has not been poured into the floor, you only have to dig to the bottom of the wall.

  • Rent a tar kettle at a tool supply company, and fill it with tar according to the instructions. Allow the tar to heat up until it melts. Make sure that you wear long sleeves, pants, thick gloves and safety glasses when working with tar.

  • Insert a mop into the tar, and spread the tar over the entire concrete wall up to at least a 12-inch height.

  • Place a roll of three-ply felt paper at one end of the concrete wall before the tar dries. Unroll it across to the opposite end of the wall, pressing it firmly into the tar as you do so. When you reach the end, cut off the excess felt paper with a utility knife.

  • Allow the tar to set up on the wall until it is hard when touched with a gloved hand and the felt paper does not shift or move.

  • Apply an additional layer of tar on top of the felt paper using the mop until no part of the paper is visible.

  • Allow the wall to dry for 24 hours, and then fill the dirt back into the trench, compacting it tightly.

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