A pair of Chicago-based disaster restoration contractors have written a book to help homeowners protect their properties.

Husband and wife Nasutsa Mabwa President of Restoration by Simons, and Sam Simon, the firm’s managing director, recently published “Restore: A Complete Guide to Protecting Your Home as You Most Valuable Asset from Water and Fire Disasters.” The couple drew in their extensive experience helping homeowners deal with a variety of property damage situations.

Restoration By Simons is a minority business enterprise (MBE) and a woman business enterprise (WBE) certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago and the Chicagoland suburbs of Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore area.

“Over the years, Nasutsa and I have fielded thousands of calls from customers searching for information on how to effectively clean and/or mitigate small water damages, remediate minor smoke/odor damages, and handle a wide variety of specialty cleaning,” Simon said. “We're happy to pass on as much information as we can. Sometimes, after we've explained to our information seekers the process involved with cleaning and restoring, they opt to have it handled professionally. First and foremost, we feel that it is our duty to educate our consumers so that they understand the process and also to protect them from being taken advantage of by other companies.”

The book gives readers information on preventing household disasters. It also gives the reader insight into what is needed physically and mentally to restore a home if they choose to tackle these situations on their own.

Simon said some common restoration problems include ridding a household of smoke odor after a cooking mishap or cleaning up water after a dishwasher leak. Other instances include handling a sewer backup, discovering broken pipes, preventing holiday fires, and knowing how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

It was a long journey for the couple to get where they are today. They first met as social workers in the mid-1990s in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Mabwa later became an executive in commercial real estate and Simon worked in national television production. Both careers meant working long hours and they wanted to spend more time with their children. They thought about opening their own business.

When they were planning to open a restaurant, a meeting with a restoration franchise owner changed their plans forever. He explained to them his successes and happiness in his personal and professional life as a restoration owner. They became intrigued and that one meeting set them off to pursue a franchise of their own. Aiding them in this path were the communication skills they cultivated when they were social workers.

“We want our readers to know that this book is written to help homeowners,” Mabwa said. “Our business is rooted in our beginnings as social workers and our desire to help people, specifically homeowners.”


Over the years, we’ve gained a lot of useful and important first-hand knowledge on how to restore homes and businesses following a wide range of disasters. We’ve worked on thousands of projects with the end goal in mind to help our customers through disruptive and stressful emergencies. During these projects, we genuinely help and support our customers while providing a positive experience. 

By imparting useful information and tips out of habit, and acting as a key resource whenever possible, we are the go-to when it comes to complicated restoration projects. Thus, the book you are holding in your hands. Our company has handled difficult restoration projects for both residential and commercial customers, ranging from water damage to flooding, fire damage to mold remediation, hoarder cleanups to cleaning and disinfection during a pandemic. Through our work we’ve learned new practical skill sets and amassed a wide range of information about how to approach all sorts of restoration projects as a hands-on service provider. This book can be read from cover to cover, or in sections, shared as a reference guide, or for group lunch and learn sessions. This resource is our way of sharing helpful and important information with you. We would also like our readers to know that this book should be used as a guide and not everything written in this book is applicable to everyone in all circumstances. Your unique situation may require a different approach best determined by the restoration professional you choose to work with. 

Nasutsa Mabwa and Sam Simon

From “Restore: A Complete Guide to Protecting Your Home as You Most Valuable Asset from Water and Fire Disasters” by Nasutsa Mabwa and Sam Simon. Published by Fig Factor Media.