Understanding Polymeric Cladding Performance in High Wind Regions

Polymeric claddings are manufactured to perform under pressure from the elements, making them an ideal choice for coastal siding. Certified products can even withstand winds of at least 110 mph.

Defining the Design Pressure Rating

The Standard Wind Load Design Pressure Rating measures the wind load resistance of cladding, windows, doors and other wind load-bearing products. The rating indicates each product’s ability to withstand pounds per square feet (psf) of pressure from wind load in its designed use.

For example, in Florida, design pressure requirements can vary from 30 psf in the state’s center up to 60+ on the coast, depending on the building’s height and other factors.

Wind speed is a standard measurement, but in reality, it’s an approximation of product performance based on an average home in an average location under average installation methods.

The specified design pressure rating for cladding is calculated based on many factors beyond wind speed, including building height, building orientation, local geography and more.

When choosing the right polymeric cladding, refer to the Standard Wind Load Design Pressure Rating, a more accurate predictor of a product’s performance in varied conditions.

To ensure full-strength performance in extreme conditions, proper installation is vitally important.

The VSI Product Certification Program includes requirements for wind load testing in accordance with ASTM D5206. Certified polymeric cladding is tested on a recurring basis to ensure products continue to adhere to the standard design pressure ratings obtained as part of qualification testing. Certification using alternative design pressure ratings can also be obtained. Design pressure rating information is included in every published PCL and PER.

Translating Design Pressure to Wind Speed1

Standard Wind Load Design Pressure Rating (psf) Approximate Wind Speed (mph)
30.0 psf 115 mph2
>30.0–45.6 psf 116–149 mph
>45.6 + psf 150+ mph
  1. Ultimate design wind speed values above are sourced from standards outlined in the International Residential Code (IRC 2015)
  2. Values are nominal design 3-second gust wind speeds in miles per hour (m/s) at 33 ft (10m) above ground for Exposure C category Design pressure ratings are based on tests using D5206 with a standard installation of 16" on center.

Installing Polymeric Cladding and Soffit in Coastal Areas

Protecting against wind is an important consideration in coastal areas. Polymeric claddings offer beauty and stand up to more extreme conditions. Use these quick tips for installing polymeric cladding and soffit in these regions.

Coastal Install

Locate the Design Pressure Rating

Verify the design pressure rating or other detailed information about polymeric cladding products listed on the product label.