February 17, 2006

Icicles.

The big snow came just at the time that I'm having the gutters on my roof replaced. The gutterless roof edge is a prime breeding ground for icicles.

icicles

These things will have to break and fall. I plan to dart out the front door more quickly than usual for the next few days.

19 comments:

RogerA said...

Professor Althouse--while I am sympathetic to your icicle problem, it isnt your gutters or lack thereof--you will have the same problem with gutters, except there the ice dam will do even more damage--
I am sure the U of W has an engineering department: check with the fluid mechanics and thermodynamics folks, and they will 'splain the problem to you.

chuck b. said...

When I lived in Georgia and people found out I was from California, I frequently heard things like, "Oh I could never live in California. I'd miss the seasons." I'd always be like, yeah, uh-huh, whatever.

David53 said...

Nice picture, I lived in Omaha for three years and Fairbanks for three years. I am thankful every winter that I am back in South Texas, I hated shoveling snow and breaking off killer icicles.

Ann Althouse said...

Rogera: The new type of gutters avoids the ice dam problem, for reasons that were explained to me, though I've forgotten.

David: I'm moving to a condo, where these things will be non-issues. At the house, I've simply hired people to do the shoveling. I'm sure there are some extra expenses you incur living in the south, like the cost of gardeners and pest control. It's a matter of facing up to paying for chores that you don't want to have to do.

Pete said...

A very dramatic photo. You almost expect to hear shrieking violins as an underscore.

Gaius Arbo said...

I used to work next door to a building that routinely had very large sheets of ice fall off. These things were enormous. They used to rope off whole areas, but when the ice fell, chunks about the size of my head would land across the street. Nobody ever got hit by them while I was working there, but it has probably happened by now. It was only a matter of time.

Meade said...

That's a great shot! What an incredible eye you have.

Slocum said...

The new type of gutters avoids the ice dam problem, for reasons that were explained to me, though I've forgotten.

The only way new gutters could conceivably avoid the ice dam problem is if they are heated.

The problem isn't complicated--heat in the attic melts snow on the roof even when the air temp is below freezing, the water runs down until it gets to the cold portion of the roof over the eaves and gutters where it re-freezes, filling the gutters with ice and forming ice dams on the roof.

The real solution is a cold attic and cold roof--more insulation in the floor of the attic to keep heat out and better venting to get rid of the heat that does leak in. (Another part of the solution is to convince your kids not to open their registers all the way to keep their upstairs bedrooms at 85 so they can lounge around in shorts when it's 20 degrees outside).

Bill K said...

Slocum is entirely correct. the problem has nothing to do with the gutters. Premature snow melt caused by inadequate insulation and/or attic ventilation is the source of the problem.

jeff said...

Go buy a few baseballs. Just try not to hit the window.

Then you can walk out the door with impunity and grace.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PatCA said...

Time to break out the blow dryer.

Ann Althouse said...

Sippican: Whatever you're talking about, I just hire good people and have them figure out how to do it right. They are very experienced with the conditions and the old houses here. (And I've never had an ice dam problem, btw.)

sonicfrog said...

Jeff said:

Go buy a few baseballs. Just try not to hit the window.

Better idea. Get a shotgun and some bird shot, and try not to hit the window or a vice president (lawyers revenge).

JK.

Those are some menacing looking icicles!

Aspasia M. said...

chuck b.,

Georgia has seasons? (I believe winter = it might snow for a day, and people freak out and the airports all close down.)

I live in the upper-midwest. Right now it is very, very cold. Come to the midwest for real seasons!

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

I'm reminded of the old Peanuts strip: Saved By a pizza!!

Anonymous said...

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this system solved my problems.

Mariam said...

The looks of those stalactite-like icicles are pretty dangerous. People living in that house should be completely aware of those icicles. Funny thing is, you actually nailed a perfect shot for having an image like that. I definitely love it. By the way, it's an important factor to clean the gutter immediately because water or snow will cause moisture build up in the roofing structure and that is definitely dangerous to our health in the long run. Not only does it attract pests but also it can lead mold formation.
Mariam Freame