A very commonly asked question is whether interlocking tiles can be used in windy locations. Since each situation is different, it is really not possible to give a definitive answer to this question. But the following guidelines and suggestions may be helpful.
Firstly, in regions subject to hurricanes and tornadoes, there is really nothing that will ensure that any object which is not securely fastened to a fixed surface would not potentially become a flying object, irrespective of whether it was a deck tile or some other article. But since interlocking deck tiles are quite easy to lay down as well is remove, it is quite possible to take up any deck tiles if there is an imminent danger of severe weather conditions, and re-lay the tiles after the danger has passed.
For locations where wind gusts are less severe, there are three features of interlocking deck tiles that will tend to mitigate the possibility of them being lifted by wind gusts.
1. Because they are all locked together by interconnecting tabs on all four sides, is more difficult for wind gusts to lift a completely connected section of deck tiles.
2. With interlocking wood deck tiles or composite wood deck tiles in particular, there are gaps between the individual slats, so it is more difficult for wind to lift individual tiles compared with a sheet of plywood for example.
3. Certain deck tiles such as stone tiles can weigh more than 7lb each so it would take a very strong wind to lift such tiles, especially if they are connected together with interlocking tabs.
What steps can be taken to alleviate concerns about wind gusts lifting tiles?
if the area has a small wall around all sides of the deck, such as might be present on a roof deck, then there is much less chance of any wind gusts lifting the tiles.
For areas such as balconies where there may not be a low wall or lip on the outside edge exposed to the wind, then one suggestion is to purchase lengths of ‘L’ shaped aluminum profile, (preferably anodized to a color which will blend with the tiles) approximately 1″ in width. The profiles should be as long as possible,no less than 8′ for preference. Then depending on the material of the tile, one side of the profile would be screwed to the outside edge of the deck tiles that run along the outside of the covered area. this is easier to achieve with wood deck tiles as with the stone deck tiles, the profile would need to be screwed into the plastic base. So effectively this interconnects the row of tiles more securely and makes it much more difficult for wind to uplift the tiles on the edge of the balcony.
Of course if it was permitted to penetrate the surface on which the tiles are laid, another alternative is to insert at least one screw for each tile on the outside row through the tile and into the surface below.