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.
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.