A day in the life of a Senior Waterproofing Technician

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Tom Perry

With years of experience in a busy and varied role under his belt, Sika’s Tom Perry speaks to us about his responsibilities and what a day in the life of a Senior Waterproofing Technician looks like.

Can you firstly talk about your experience?

I joined the Sika Waterproofing team eight years ago, shortly after the SikaProof® membrane was launched and was beginning to pick up speed. For me it was a very exciting time to join the business and a lot was invested in the technical side of the company. Today, I feel that our level of technical service is bar none and should be considered a major part of what makes our division so successful.

Although I was stepping into my first waterproofing role back then, before this I had nearly 10 years’ technical experience in the concrete industry with a readymix supplier, which put me in a good position for the role. Since joining Sika I’ve not looked back and have relished the opportunity to grow in the position.

What does your day-to-day role typically look like?

It’s a varied position with the majority of my time spent out in the field. Along with colleagues from both the Technical and Sales departments I cover the “North” of England, from Carlisle to Coventry. My job is to be the face of Sika’s Waterproofing team when out on-site supporting customers and contractors.

In a nutshell, once the specification for a job has been decided based on several factors – grade, budget, location, and variables such as Radon, Hydrocarbons, or other contamination in the ground – it’s handed over to the technical team and assigned to the appropriate technician for that area.

For my projects I will first have a chat with the Specification Manager to get an overview of the site, what products are being used, and to discuss any bespoke detailing that has already been agreed. I will then go to site to demonstrate the relevant Sika waterproofing products to the installing contractors and groundworkers, advising them how to correctly use them for the best results. Alongside this, I’m a source for the customer to ask questions while on site and a friendly face to help ensure a project runs smoothly.

The involvement of the Technical Department is a critical part of Sika’s guarantee offer. We provide a high level of support to contractors to give peace-of-mind to the client on completion of the project.

My role beyond on-site presence consists of a fair amount of home-working. We are not just a service provided on site; we can give advice over the phone, email, and now we can even help over video call if required. Covering such an expanse of the country, you simply can’t be in two places at once, so we take full advantage of this technology.

Another important part of the job is Sika’s “four-eyed” principal, where a report is thoroughly double-checked before it is given to the customer. This will include checking the advice we are giving is accurate and agreeing on any proposed remedial works, as well as just a simple grammar and spelling check.

I am also involved in product development and trialing the new or reformulated products we hope to bring to the market. The waterproofing sector is fast-growing and ever-changing, with new regulations and material technologies being driven by the need to be more sustainable, for the future-proofing buildings against the effects of climate change, and sometimes it’s just fun to play with shiny new things!

What are some of the job’s challenges?

Effectively I’m also on site to deal with any issues that arise, so troubleshooting problems is a big part of this. Hopefully things go well but from time to time when things do go wrong, such as incorrect installation or leaks etc. it’s my job to provide guidance and deal with these in a timely and effective manner to ensure remedial work is undertaken so there is not too much of a delay to the project.

Of course, another challenge for the wider department is getting more buy-in from key decision makers when it comes to waterproofing products.

Government figures report that flooding in the UK has cost well over £1.5bn with hundreds of millions of economic losses and is only set to get worse unless mitigation measures are adopted. This is why we are starting to see much more emphasis on waterproofing in all sectors, from private buildings to nuclear power stations. The need for more infrastructure and housing whilst space and land is at a premium, especially in cities, will make architects and engineers look to “go down” and this is where Sika can step in to provide first-class, robust solutions.

What do you enjoy most?

The role allows me a good level of autonomy. I’m a trusted member of the team and it’s great that I can share my knowledge and be relied on to get the job done for our customers.

I’m a problem solver and although I’d always prefer things to run perfectly smoothly, I do thrive on helping our customers fix their problem – a very satisfying part of the job I do day-to-day.

Being a part of the technical team means I also get to work with some brilliant people. The personnel in the technical team are a mix of ex-contractors who are time-served in the sector, and colleagues with academic qualifications and experience in engineering and design, backed up by other departments like Business Support, Product & Development, Administration who all do fantastic work behind-the-scenes. They’re a vital cog in the Sika machine and help us deliver industry-leading products.

Our ‘One Sika’ mission statement allows us to call on colleagues from other departments to share information and advice to best support our customer.

To find out more about Sika and its products, call 0800 292 2572 or email waterproofing@uk.sika.com

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