Spring weather can be welcome after a long and cold winter, but it can also expose home maintenance issues that went untended during the chillier months. As the ice melts and the snow evaporates off the lawn, consider giving your place a springtime home inspection. If you locate and fix any potential issue quickly, they won't have a chance to develop into more serious issues. Winter can be hard on a house, but consider spring a time of rebirth and apply some of these home improvement tips:

Rake the lawn

While raking is an activity typically reserved for autumn, it pays to rake your lawn once the snow melts away. While snow-covered lawns appear pristine, that snow​ cover often hides leaves, yard waste and other debris that will stunt your grass's growth and make your lawn look messy. You will, however, want to be extremely gentle when raking during spring. The melting snow, coupled with spring rain showers can result in a soggy lawn. If you rake too vigorously, you may rip up the grass and leave unsightly dirt patches that will stick around through summer. 

Clean everything

Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition, and it applies to both the inside and outside of a home. Dirt and grime build up on the exterior walls of a home during winter. If you don't strip this mess away, it could obscure your view of building damage that demands repair. One of the simplest ways to correct this problem is with a pressure washer. You can rent a pressure washer at most hardware stores, and it will quickly blast the dirt off a home's siding. Be careful, as many of these washers are extremely powerful, and the wrong setting could quickly strip the paint from your home. Once things are clean, do a thorough inspection to discover any surface damage that could develop into a bigger issue. 

Fix the gutters

Many homeowners forget to maintain their gutters, but these troughs provide a home's first line of defense against water damage. You want to make sure your gutters are still tightly attached to the roof edge. Clear any obstructions and make sure they are properly linked to downspouts. Those downspouts are an important part of the system and deposit the water away from your home's foundation. Make sure they're long enough to prevent water from pooling next to your house. 

Replace smoke detector batteries 

This isn't really a repair but could save you from a catastrophic house fire. Smoke detectors are a great way to catch potentially devastating fires early, but they work with only fresh batteries. Rather than waiting for the batteries in your smoke alarm to fail, replace them on a consistent time frame. If you put new batteries in every detector when the seasons change, you're guaranteed a functioning smoke detection system year round. 

Look at the roof

Snow and ice can seep in between shingles and pry them off your home's roof. Give your roof a visual inspection from outside the house to check for any obvious gaps or flaws. If everything seems fine, wait for the first heavy rainfall of spring. Check your attic for any leaks and call a professional immediately if repairs are necessary.

Prepare the air conditioner 

Hot weather is on the way, and you want to make sure your air conditioner is ready to cool your home. Contact a pro who can inspect your system and fix any issues that will affect its performance. You don't want to be caught off guard when the first sweltering day of summer hits, so be proactive and get the system working now.