Gutter cleaning is a messy job. You are going to get dirty when you complete this household chore. So, it is important that you wear gloves. But, keeping dirt from getting under your fingernails is not the only reason you will want to keep your hands protected. There are actually health concerns behind this recommendation. Even if you use a gutter scoop or a gutter wand, you still want to have your hands protected by some kind of glove.
What gloves are best? You want a glove that will still leave you dexterous enough to grasp tools and work easily with your hands. Make sure that the gloves fit properly and are not too big. You also want to get a pair that will extend as far past your wrist as possible. The disposable kitchen gloves that you can buy in the grocery store usually work well because they have grips on the fingers and extend almost up to the middle of your forearm. The more of your arm that is covered, the further you can reach into the gutters without worrying about getting any gutter grime on you.
But why is it so important to wear them? Well, of course you want to avoid getting dirty, but there are molds and bacteria in rotting leaves that you do not want to come in contact with your skin. The moist and warm environment created by the sun shining down on your rooftop is the perfect conditions for mold and bacteria to thrive. If you let these contaminants touch your skin you are much more likely to touch your mouth or eyes and get the mold or bacteria into your system. Some people will not be that affected by them, but others suffer from extreme allergies and could get sick.
How can mold make you sick? Mold allergies have many symptoms, including but not limited to sneezing, chronic cough, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, watery eyes, red eyes, skin rashes, hives, sinus headaches, reduced lung capacity and trouble breathing. As with most allergies, the longer you are exposed or the more times you are exposed, the worse the allergy can get. Depending on the severity of your allergy you could experience the symptoms of a mild cold or you could stop breathing. Black mold or toxic mold can even be lethal in some cases. This is a health concern to take seriously.
Even if you wear gloves, you probably will still be at least somewhat affected by the presence of mold. If you have a severe reaction to the mold, then you might want to consider hiring someone to do your gutter cleaning. Even though you will save money if you do the job yourself, it is not worth getting sick over.