Petersburg woman loses most of her belongings after finding mold in storage unit

Published: Jul. 23, 2019 at 8:23 PM EDT
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PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - A Petersburg mother says she lost most of her belongings to mold she found growing on everything including her furniture, kids’ toys and even inside storage boxes at her Cube Smart climate control storage unit.

Making matters worse, Cube Smart’s insurance provider told Sade Hood, “Sorry, we don’t cover mold.”

The day after Hood discovered mold on her stored belongings, Cube Smart was no longer operating the facility. Life Storage had taken over and Hood says she got the run-around. She also says Cube Smart did offer compensation but it came with strings attached.

The young mother says she believed her possessions were in good hands and fully covered at the then Cube Smart storage on Branch Point Drive in Midlothian.

“They stressed the whole climate control. Not only did we have mold, there were big wolf spiders in there and then we found a dead frog,” Hood said.

The more she unpacked, Hood says the more mold she found on household belongings and irreplaceable items that she says are ruined.

“My daughter’s scrap book from when she was born. Her umbilical cord is in there. My kids are sleeping on the air mattress. I didn’t want them on the floor. Me and their Dad, we’re dealing with pillows and blankets on the floor because we don’t have beds now,” she said.

Hood says she never missed her monthly payment and showed us additional insurance coverage she bought. She paid $12 a month for $2,000 in damage protection. She filed her claim and was rejected because her policy does not cover mold. She says Cube Smart then offered her a thousand dollars if she signed an agreement.

“If I don’t go to the media or if I don’t pursue any further legal action, they will give me a check for $1,000 to shut me up, pretty much. I’m not rich. I make $9.25 an hour. I can’t go out here and buy new bedroom sets, new living room sets. I can’t do that,” Hood said.

NBC12′s Diane Walker stayed on top of her complaint for the past week or more, going to Life Storage, the new owners and repeatedly calling and emailing Cube Smart, to which Cube Smart has yet to respond. Life Storage did step up initially giving Hood two months free storage while they sorted everything out.

Life Storage says it is reaching out to Hood for a list of damages so they can resolve her claim.

“I didn’t put the mold there. Something happened in there (that) obviously had to cause the mold to grow,” she said.

Life Storage said it investigated and “have discovered a problem left by the previous owner. We are in the process of correcting the problem that caused the moisture in Ms. Hood’s storage unit.”

This is a reminder to read your contract and know what’s in it. If you disagree with a part of the contract, try to negotiate better terms. Also, take pictures of your belongings and check your storage unit regularly.

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