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Do You Have Icicles?

by Bill Tobin
February 1, 2019

Do Icicles have a Message?

What can we learn from their formation?

On this cold and frosty morning the Publishers wanted to share this reprint of a Bill Tobin classic - first published in February, 2014.

Icicles sparkle in the sunlight and may add interest to a winter scene hanging from roof tops.

They can also be lethal if they are dislodged and fall and hit you on the head.


Driving around Holliston, I saw many homes laden with icicles, and then again, many homes have none or scarcely any. Why? My very unscientific answer is insulation.

The houses with a lot of icicles are losing a lot of heat through the roof, melting the snow and producing the icicles. Those houses that are well insulated do not lose costly heat and thus do not produce the icicles. 

The age of the houses does not seem to matter, as new and old construction seem to share in the haves and have nots.

The bank did its share in creating an icicle too.

Of course there is another theory. Those without may be very chilly homes with lowered thermostats, and those with may be enjoying the warmth of a friendly fire or normal room temperatures.

Town Hall had only one visible on the exterior, but it has been known to have icicles in the interior of the building from time to time.

The Post Office wins the prize for the best display.

This home gets the prize for the longest icicle, extending from the roof line down two floors second  to ground level. Wow!

The Holliston  schools  and the Police Station are well insulated if my theory is correct, as no icicles are visible on these buildings.

Have you checked your roofline for icicles? 

There are other  definitions of icicle:

1.  a pendent mass of ice formed by the freezing of dripping water

2.    an emotionally cold person

3.   a long narrow strip (as of foil) used to decorate a Christmas tree



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Comments (2)

Great Pictures of some of Holliston's beautiful homes and buildings, even if they are not quite insulated from Old Man Winter's onslaught! And you're right about town hall's interior icicle formation. That third floor, which is a local treasure by the way, isn't losing any heat because it doesn't have any. And summer time it doesn't seem to lose any heat either!

- Billy's Boy | 2/19/14 1:16 PM

Very interesting article. I just had our attic insulated a few weeks ago, and I keep the temp as low as I can inside, within reason! We have a few....but I will have to recall and compare to last year.

- Mary | 2/19/14 12:14 PM



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