What is a Wind Zone and Why Does it Matter?

Prefabricated home along the coast of the US in Wind Zone III.

Have you ever wondered about what a wind zone is? Briefly, a wind zone is the rating of the amount of wind pressure a home must be built to withstand based on your location. Find out more about wind zones and how they affect manufactured housing!

What is a Wind Zone?

A wind zone is the rating of the amount of wind pressure a manufactured home, also known as an off-site built home, is built to withstand. Wind zones were originally created by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1976 and updated in 1994. So, all off-site built (HUD Code) homes built after 1976 have been built to meet a specific wind zone requirement depending on where the home will be located.

Wind zones are determined by the amount of wind pressure in an area. The higher the possible wind pressure in an area, the higher rate of the wind zone. So, if you live in an area that is a designated Wind Zone III, then you live in an area with the highest wind speeds.

Since wind zones are determined before a home is constructed, it is difficult to upgrade your home to a higher wind zone once it is built. That’s why it’s best to know which wind zone your home will be located in before purchasing your prefab home.

How Many Wind Zones are There? What is My Wind Zone?

There are currently 3 wind zones:

  • Wind Zone I – Generally, if you live in the middle of the country you will be in this zone as it covers most of the interior of the U.S., where hurricanes are not common.
  • Wind Zone II – The closer your home is located to the coast, the more likely your location will be in this zone. It’s designated for areas that are hurricane prone and can experience up to 100 miles per hour wind speeds.
  • Wind Zone III – Along the coast of certain states, homes must be built to withstand up to 110 miles per hour winds since these are the areas that hurricanes are more frequent.

Map of United States wind zones. Manufactured Housing Institute - Basic Wind Zone Map

The map above can show you which wind zone you are in, but you can always double check with your home consultant. Remember, you can always place a home built to withstand a higher wind zone in an area with a lower wind zone, but not the other way around.

Example: If your home is built to withstand Wind Zone III level winds, it is safe to place in an area within Wind Zone I. However, a home built to withstand Wind Zone I level winds is not able to be placed within a Wind Zone III area.

Check out this video from the Florida Manufactured Housing Association about how an off-site built home outlasted Hurricane Irma during hurricane season in the fall of 2017.

Which Wind Zone is My Home Built For?

If you are in the market for a new home, the easiest way to determine which wind zone your home will placed in is to ask a home specialist in the area you’ll be living. For those of you that already own a manufactured home, but are still curious about which wind zone your home was built to, then you can check the “Data Plate” located within your home.

We understand that the safety of your home and family is your top priority, and it’s ours, too! Our friendly, knowledgeable home consultants will be able help you with any questions you have about wind zones and home safety. AND they can tell you about some of the customization options available to you as you build your dream home. Now that’s Prefabulous®!

*MHI is the registered service mark of Manufactured Housing Institute Corporation.

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