Yes, homeowners may bring in their own samples for analysis, we ask that the samples be between 1” x 1” and 2” x 2” and that samples are sealed in Ziploc style bags. While we do offer this service to homeowners we strongly recommend a trained professional performs a proper hazardous materials survey to ensure your living area is not contaminated in the event of a positive result.

The number of samples you should take depends on the material, WorkSafe BC guidelines state that at least three samples should be taken from most surfaces, including Drywall, Texture Coat (Popcorn Ceiling), Grouts and Mortars, as well as Mastics and Exterior surfaces like Stucco.

If a sample contains asbestos and you still intend to disturb (remove or otherwise damage) the material it is recommended you consult a professional asbestos abatement company. It is not recommended that you remove asbestos containing materials yourself as the necessary safety precautions can be complicated.

Yes, provided the material in question is intact you can leave it alone. Asbestos is only a hazard when it is released into the air by mechanical disruption, or by shedding from materials which are falling apart on their own. If the material that tested positive is in poor shape it is recommended you remove it to prevent any contamination or exposure.

What you do with your report will vary based on the reason why you submitted samples to our lab. If you submitted drywall samples to be able to dump drywall then you should bring your report showing a clean result with you to the drywall recycling facility. If you received the report in association with an inspection to clear a house for a renovation or demolition you should consult with the inspector who collected the samples about how to proceed.


As our knowledge of how lead impacts the human body grows regulations are changed in order to ensure the safety of the general public. Recent studies have found that the Blood Lead Levels (BLLs) we though were safe are actually damaging to the nervous and renal systems. These new discoveries have caused increased regulation regarding the disruption or disposal of lead containing materials.

Essentially any paint may contain lead, as well as tile glazing, solders, soils or piping as well as many other materials. Most of the lead encountered in our daily lives is inorganic lead which means it has difficulty absorbing through the skin, and relies more on ingestion or inhalation as a means of entering the body. If a material is a poor condition (flaking or otherwise damaged) and it has been painted or has not been tested before it may be worth testing for lead. Consult a certified professional for more information about identifying lead risks in your home or workplace.

Leachable lead is a form of lead based material which can easily release lead into the environment. The leachability of the material is of particular concern for disposal where it can move from the material into our soil and water systems. Leachability tests are performed using special conditions which simulate being in a landfill below the water table in order to assess how much lead the tested material may release to the environment so that our water sources can be protected.

Once you have a positive results it is best to contact a qualified professional who can guide you through the process of either removing or properly containing the material. Things the consultant will consider are: presence of children in the area, leachability of the material, work performed in the area, local disposal regulations and many other factors. Regulations surrounding lead can be difficult to navigate, and are often widely varied depending on the region, consult a local professional for an assessment of the lead risk in your area.


Yes, Sarcova accepts all samples which meet the requirements for the analysis method being performed. If you have any questions about making sure your mold samples are as representative as possible feel free to get in touch with us and we will provide as much information as possible.

This can be a very difficult question to answer and will depend on a number of factors at the site. As a general rule visible mold colonies should be tested using a bulk, swab or tape lift technique and air samples should be taken from any sites where water damage has occurred. The ubiquitous nature of mold makes testing a nuanced process which should be performed by a professional.

These two classification of sample split mold testing into two categories: mold that is present and can form colonies and mold that is present but may be dead. Largely the two tests can be understood as follows:

Culturable- Samples are given ideal nutrition and environmental conditions and allowed to grow, growing colonies are observed and quantified giving information about the living mold colonies in the sample and approximately how healthy these colonies are.

Non-culturable: Samples are examined directly, any particles or spores will be characterized to the most specific level possible, however sometimes dead cells will be counted. These tests tell you more about the mold history of the space and tends to capture a wider variety of mold spores. Non-culture based tests are much faster, however they provide less well-rounded assessments of the area.