Let's face it, icicles bring mixed emotions. Their proportions, distribution and chemistry are awe inspiring and beautiful, but these watery classic fractal objects also represent an element of danger.
The inverted ice spike's precariousness is not only its shape, but also what it represents when adorning your house or building. This can be a barometer for heat loss or even tragedy in the making, if one were to dislodge and fall to the ... ground, or maybe, onto you.
I for one am always admiring their beauty and feel blessed to live in a place with such magnificent icicle production. But, I am also looking up before I go under a roof, just in case one is a dangling. For example, I noticed that the icicle formation on the new firehouse looked something like great white sharks teeth.
In the face of this love, hate relationship, I thought to ask a local expert about icicles. Remembering a picture on Facebook of Dusty Pas'cal's silhouette high up on a roof. I contacted him first. Pas'cal and family own DB Pas'cal Chimney & Roof, which is located right here in Skaneateles at 2423 Wave Way.
1. Why do some houses have icicles and some don't?
It's a safe bet for every home to experience some minor ice build up. As my dad would say, "That's just the way tings woyks." If the home had a roof that was installed properly, these ice issues are generally harmless and not problematic. But homes that tend to experience severe ice buildup and icicles the size of 1982, Navy Blue Buick are undoubtably experiencing heat loss caused by either lack of, or improperly positioned, insulation.
2. Why are some years more icicle prone than others?
Heavy snowfall followed by bitter cold temps are the two main factors. The more severe the snowfall, followed by falling temps, the more service calls our family's company receives. Safety and prompt customer service become the gear we as a team have been raised and trained to adjust to just as fast as the weather changes day to day.