Construction Waterproofing Training WTF (Why this Fails?) – Part 2

Thursday November 15, 2018

I covered in Part I the piece on manufacturers taking the reins to train and educate contractors which for the current time is the accepted norm. Agree or disagree, it is the reality of what is happening out in the everyday world, and while there are Certificate III courses from RTOs the truth is trades rely on manufacturers to enable them to carry out work that protects the applicator and their builder client.

So we could debate my perspective, but this reflects the problematic issues of how waterproofing is approached (or lack of approach) within the national construction landscape, contributing further towards why the waterproofing trade struggles to be taken seriously.

But more importantly lets get back to the focus on manufacturers and contractors. So if manufacturers are taking on the responsibility to train contractors how to use their products, then this presents the opportunity for manufacturers to lift the profile of the waterproofing trade, guide applicators to best practice and help instil a level of respectability to the waterproofing trade. I know we all want to sell product, but if we help send the contractor on their way into building sites with greater knowledge, then there is that multiplier effect where the smarts are shared around to the various stakeholders involved in the waterproofing application. As everyone gets smarter, we’ll see improvement, less waterproofing failures and a construction industry that may have more respect for the waterproofing trade as they do with others.

Now I’ll take it upon myself that some of you while reading this may be nodding with a yes. Great. However that prophetic line from Forrest Gump keeps ringing in my head when I see what is happening out there with waterproofing training “Stupid is as Stupid does”.

A picture tells a thousand words and these images best sum this up……

There could have been an E-book issued with this one to share the full album of images, but I can’t put into words any better than how these pictures explain why the waterproofing trade is not taken seriously. Can anyone imagine the uproar if electrical or gas trades were being trained with a beer on hand, kids watching and giving a helping hand, cardboard boxes as the simulated learning substrate, small doll house sized areas overcrowded with trainees. WTF! Why This Fails.

This approach to training doesn’t just fail the applicator, it fails the industry by sending it further behind than where it already is. The math is there for all to see that waterproofing problems and dampness related issues are prevalent in the industry. So how can any product, brand or trade be taken seriously when these examples of waterproofing training are claiming this is a first class approach to coaching, training and educating the waterproofing trade. WTF! Why This Fails is it cheapens the value and the importance of the waterproofing trade.

Then from the same sources that take this approach, I hear complaints of nobody wanting to buy their quality products. WTF! Why This Fails is what level of trades person do you think this approach is going to attract in terms of skill set? Having a beer while coating a cardboard box ensures the unskilled and uneducated will flock to this caper because it looks like child’s play. And so when companies are wondering why their quality products don’t sell and why is the short cut method taken towards waterproofing, my advice is to reflect, look back and smell what has been laid in one’s own nest as the answers are sitting there.

Currently manufacturers have the greatest reach and influence into the waterproofing industry because they are looked to for guidance on best solutions and the application of those solutions. If we as manufacturers are being sought after for knowledge and training, then how we execute on that training is who we’ll shape to carry out the application. This is more a responsibility than an opportunity to sell, because real change happens when it is influenced from the top.

So while manufacturers are being turned to as the authorities in an industry lacking guidance, now is the time they can help shape the quality of the trade that carries out waterproofing applications. Kids play, painting cardboard boxes and something that gets done with a cold beer…..somehow doesn’t resonate with how important the waterproofing trade is to construction.

It’s time for a real change to how Construction Waterproofing Training happens, and it is fairly clear for all to see and can only get better from where it’s at.