What are the benefits of composite materials when it comes to building products?

By Stuart Burns December 3, 2013

Although composite materials have been around for years, it has taken a long while for people to recognise their many qualities and enormous versatility. Let’s look at the benefits of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) and wood plastic composite (WPC) in a bit more detail…


Undoubtedly one of the principal benefits of composite materials is that they tend to be fantastically durable, making them perfect for outdoor areas and exterior surfaces. Wood can rot, concrete can crack and crumble and steel can rust, but composite products will generally maintain their integrity for decades. In fact, as modern composite materials were only discovered several decades ago, and even the earliest applications are still going strong, there is currently no way to tell just how long these products will last.


Thanks to the engineered nature of these products, it is possible to produce largely hollow (and therefore extremely light) elements that are almost as strong, if not stronger, than solid elements made from more traditional materials. Certainly, in most instances, the strength-to-weight ratio of composites is vastly superior to that of traditional materials.

Low maintenance

Although you might think that composite materials’ long lifespans are dependent to some extent on the care and attention site owners display towards their exterior surfaces, aside from cleaning, composite materials require very little maintenance to keep them looking clean and functioning properly. As they cannot become damaged by traditional problems such as rot, moss and mould, the worst that can happen is that these may grow on top of the composite in a wet, shady corner. However, all you need to do to remove the problem entirely is simply give the area a quick jet wash.

For more on the many advantages of composite materials, just visit our home page, where you’ll be able to obtain a free copy of my new guide, “How to Choose Composite Building Products”.