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Mold in storage facility leaves renters stunned

Renters of a newly constructed Cincinnati storage unit were stunned to find that their belongings are covered in mold.

The storage unit, CubeSmart, had only been opened for a few months, which is why Stephanie Goldfuss decided to rent a unit at the Eastgate facility. Because the facility was new, she assumed that it would be a clean, dry, safe place to store her belongings.

Goldfuss and her husband used their storage unit to store three couches, baby furniture, and a dining room set while they were preparing to move into a new house. According to Goldfuss, after just three months in the storage unit, her family’s belongings were covered in mold. She said that her couches were coated with a white film. When she looked closer, she saw that it was “white fuzz mold”, running down both of her family’s couches.

What was the source of the mold?

Mold thrives in moist, dark environments. Goldfuss though that, because the storage facility was new, moisture wouldn’t be an issue; however, upon further inspection, she say a small amount of water on the floor near her couches.

The moisture on the concrete floor of the unit appears to be the result of condensation. She spoke to a maintenance worker at the facility, and he told her that the moisture was likely due to hot, humid air coming into contact with the cold concrete floors when the doors of the storage units are opened.

Goldfuss isn’t the only one who has been affected. Several other people who were renting units on the first floor of the storage facility claim that they have found mold on their belongings, as well.

Gary Hawley, another renter, placed is furnishings in one of the units while he was moving. When he went to retrieve his belongings, he said that there was mold all over the furniture and on a few of the boxes.

Hawley purchased insurance from the storage facility to protect his belongings; however, he was shocked to learn that the policy only covered major disasters, such as flood and fire.

“Without having evidence of a leak in the building, there was not anything that would trigger the coverage”, said Hawley.

Renting a storage unit? How to protect yourself from mold

If you’re planning on renting a storage unit, there are a few things that you can do to protect yourself from the same problem.

Make sure that you inspect the storage facility before renting a unit. Check for signs of moisture, as well as pests. If possible, avoid storing upholstered furnishings in the facility. Instead of using cardboard boxes, store clothing and other personal possessions in plastic bins. Check with your homeowners or renters insurance policy to see if it will cover losses for items that you are storing in the facility. If the storage facility offers insurance, don’t rely on it for mold damage, as these policies usually only cover major disasters, such as damage caused by a flood, a fire, or a tornado.

Mold Inspection & Testing Cincinnati has vast experience performing mold tests in storage facilities. Whether it’s through MI&T or another third-party mold testing company, we strongly recommend having a mold test performed in a storage unit before renting. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 513.800.1401.