Wind Load Ratings and Outdoor Signs: Here’s What To Know


When you’re considering purchasing a new outdoor sign or upgrading an old one for your business, school, church, or organization, your first thoughts may be about appearance, cost, and flexibility in messaging.

All these are important, but the sign’s ability to endure outdoor conditions, including heat, rain, sleet, and hail, is more important. Your sign must do this while projecting your company’s message and brand to passersby. Wind tolerance is a major factor in your sign’s longevity, not to mention safety for those driving, cycling, or walking past or under it. Here’s what to know as you shop and think about wind load ratings and outdoor signs.

Zoning and Location

Your local zoning ordinances will define where you can place your sign in terms of setbacks, height, and whether it must be illuminated 24 hours a day. Another determiner is wind load.

What Is Wind Load?

When wind encounters a solid surface it can’t effectively blow through, it creates pressure on that surface. Wind load is a measure of the pressure wind puts on a structure, depending on the wind’s speed and the structure’s size and shape. The American Society of Civil Engineers has standards that define the calculations used to determine acceptable wind loads based on the maximum expected wind speed in a location.

A sign’s size and shape and the shape and surface of its supporting structures determine the drag coefficient. This factors into the calculation of wind load. Both the sign and the supporting structures must meet local wind load standards to ensure the sign can endure high winds and won’t become unstable or dangerous during severe storms.

Your Outdoor Sign Dealer Should Know How To Calculate Wind Load

Nobody expects you to perform calculations that only civil and structural engineers understand. Still, the sign dealer you work with to select your outdoor LED display signs should be able to explain what to know about wind load ratings for outdoor signs to inform your purchase.

Guthman Signs serves as an unbiased sign broker and project manager to ensure you get the sign you need that will meet or exceed wind load specifications and requirements—all at a price you can afford. Call today!


Let us help you make a well-informed purchase. Contact Guthman, your digital experts, for the best LED signboards in the industry.