Do not panic--it is not snowing here (yet). This photo was taken in January of 2018, which is (until now) the last time it was really cold here. However, as below freezing temperatures are expected in some parts of the lowcountry tonight and tomorrow night, we want to give you the following tips on protecting your home during this cold spell and any following freezes.
Drip your faucets: According to The Weather Channel, "letting a faucet drip during extreme cold weather can prevent a pipe from bursting. It's not that a small flow of water prevents freezing; this helps, but water can freeze even with a slow flow. Rather, opening a faucet will provide relief from the excessive pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage when freezing occurs. If there is no excessive water pressure, there is no burst pipe, even if the water inside the pipe freezes.
A dripping faucet wastes some water, so only pipes vulnerable to freezing (ones that run through an unheated or unprotected space) should be left with the water flowing. The drip can be very slight. Even the slowest drip at normal pressure will provide pressure relief when needed. Where both hot and cold lines serve a spigot, make sure each one contributes to the drip, since both are subjected to freezing. If the dripping stops, leave the faucet(s) open, since a pipe may have frozen and will still need pressure relief." More information can be found at http://www.weather.com/activities/homeandgarden/home/hometips/severeweather/pipefreeze_prevent.html. Source: Institute for Business and Home Safety. IBHS is a national nonprofit initiative of the insurance industry to reduce deaths, injuries, property damage, economic losses and human suffering caused by natural disasters.
Outdoor spigots: Outdoor spigots and backflow preventers need to be covered to protect them from the wind. If you also have a water hose connected to an outdoor spigot, you should disconnect the hose.
Help keep pipes warm under cabinets: if any of your vanities back up to an exterior wall, open the doors to the vanity cabinet to allow warm air access to the pipes.
Fireplace drafts: Make sure to close your fireplace flue when the fireplace is not in use.
Windows and Doors: Make sure all windows and doors, including storm doors, are closed tightly.
Stay warm, and enjoy the cold snap--they never last very long around here!