Restoration Associates can help after fire, flooding, or other emergencies
June 7, 2019

Experts at Restoration Associates have the know-how and equipment to help you recover from a fire, flooding, or other emergency much faster.

By Eva Hofmann

When it comes to fire or water damage, time is of the essence. The experts at Restoration Associates, 2601 S. Archer Ave., have the know-how and equipment to mitigate your disaster faster.

A licensed general contractor specializing in the restoration, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of structures, Restoration Associates manages projects from beginning to end, including mitigation and cleanup, emergency electric, plumbing, and other duties that must be performed to comply with insurance policy requirements. “It’s one-stop shopping with us,” said Tom Nesbitt, vice president and founding partner of Restoration Associates.

Nesbitt started doing fire repair 39 years ago.  He added water restoration to his services about 14 years ago. “It was getting big in the industry,” he said. “There’s a certain science to drying down buildings after a water loss.”

Restoration Associates is a family business. His daughter, Jane Nesbitt, serves as comptroller and office manager.  “She’s been working with me for 20 years,” said Nesbitt.

About four years ago, Nesbitt assembled a powerhouse team of industry veterans with more than 120 years of combined experience in the business of fire and flood restoration. “We have insurance adjusters and claims managers who understand coverage and can sort through the issues,” he said. “We have the latest equipment using industry technology, and our technicians carry the needed certifications.”

No matter what the cause, whether from fire, water, vehicular impact, a falling tree, or other disasters, Restoration Associates can help restore your property to its pre-loss condition.


Once a fire occurs, the onus is on the home or business owner to do everything possible to prevent further damage. Typically, this begins with boarding up broken windows and unsecured doors, followed by roof tarps to secure the building from weather and further damage. Next comes cleanup of broken glass, nails, and debris. During cold weather, the owner might need to drain and winterize the water system to keep pipes from freezing, and if power is compromised, an electrician must fix it. If the heating system is not damaged, workers can service it or install a temporary heating system to help dry out the structure. These services are covered and paid for by the insurance company.

The next step is to bring in drying equipment to prevent further damage. Restoration Associates even meets with the insurance adjuster to determine what other emergency measures the structure needs and to determine the “scope of loss,” which presents a complete list showing details, quantities, and unit costs for everything damaged by the fire. Technicians receive certification by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification to perform these services to exacting protocols.

Once the insurer reaches an agreement on the scope of damage, Restoration Associates consults with the insured on how to repair the building, either to its pre-loss condition or, in many cases, to make changes or upgrades that can be worked out with the insurance company.


No matter what the cause, water damage can be devastating and spread quickly.

“A flood can happen when a toilet overflows or a washer backs up,” said Nesbitt. “The typical home has 39 possible points of water intrusion where water is connected to toilets, sinks, showers, etc. Any one of those areas can go bad.” 

In highrises, damage can spread to other floors. “We work in highrises every day,” said Nesbitt. “With all the people in a highrise, someone is going to have a leak, and multiple floors can be affected. It happens more than you think.”

When it comes to water, the mitigation process must begin as soon as possible to alleviate further damage and reduce the threat of mold. Restoration Associates removes any harmful substances, raw sewage, and other contaminants. They then immediately begin saving and restoring all salvageable personal contents.

Using state-of-the-art equipment such as moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras, the team then determines the scope of tasks to complete mitigation. “We have probing moisture meters and things like thermal cameras that can see through the wall for what you can’t see with the naked eye,” said Nesbitt.

Mitigation might include demolishing unsalvageable materials that cannot be dried. Simultaneously, workers install the latest drying equipment, including high-velocity air movers, low-grain refrigerant dehumidifiers, and hardwood floor drying rescue mats. Restoration Associates also cleans and sanitizes all surfaces in the affected areas with heavy-duty cleaning agents as well as antimicrobials to disinfect and prevent mold growth.

During the polar vortex this past winter, Restoration Associates came to the rescue when a Gold Coast landmark hotel suffered a flood. “With the cold weather, they had a pipe burst in the middle of the night, and 15,000 square feet in the banquet rooms and restaurant had an inch of water covering the new carpeting they had just installed two weeks prior,” said Nesbitt.

Technicians were on the scene within 30 minutes of the first call to assess the situation. Within 90 minutes, a 16-member crew was working to mitigate the damage. “We set up over 200 pieces of drying equipment, including high-
velocity air movers and commercial dehumidifiers,” said Nesbitt.  “Our immediate response saved the carpeting.”

Restoration Associates consists of a powerhouse team of industry veterans with more than 120 years of combined experience in fire and flood restoration.


Mold is an inevitable result of water damage. Thousands of different types of mold exist, from mildly harmful to deadly. Mold sometimes can be difficult to detect.

Recently, Nesbitt and his crew performed emergency mold mitigation in a local highrise. “They took down wallpaper on 25 floors and discovered mold behind it,” he said. “Everyone is worried about mold,” he said. “Time is of the essence in these situations, and immediate response is critical.”

Never a dull moment

In addition to fire and water emergencies, Restoration Associates has plenty of other predicaments to deal with. The company also handles crime scene and biohazard cleanups as well as vehicular impacts and damage from trees falling on structures.

“We were busy during the polar vortex, but there’s really no slow season,” said Nesbitt. “We sometimes have 60 people working on large projects. All emergency calls come to me—I kind of sleep with my phone.”

Restoration Associates is an approved vendor for numerous insurance companies, management companies, and condo homeowner associations. “We’re located in Bridgeport, which gives us immediate response to the highrises downtown,” said Nesbitt.  “But we go anywhere for a large loss—we’re doing consulting in Mississippi right now.”

No matter what the cause, or where you’re located, Restoration Associates can help restore your property to its pre-loss condition. For more information, call (312) 225-3300, go to