Burial Vaults

What to Look For
Burial vault

By Robert Lawton, CC BY-SA 2.5,

Burial Vaults (also called Outer Burial Containers) are boxes that are made to encase the casket. They are commonly made of reinforced concrete but you may also find them made of plastic or metal. The casket is placed inside the vault and sealed.

A grave liner is similar to a vault but it is almost always made of concrete, is unlined, and unsealed. A key difference between a vault and a liner is that a vault, because it is lined and sealed, provides the casket with protection from the weather.

The key purpose of both a vault and liner is to protect the casket from the weight of the earth and any heavy maintenance equipment that will pass over the grave. They also prevent the ground from settling. Nearly all cemeteries require at least a liner. When the body is entombed in a mausoleum, a vault is not necessary.

The big decision when it comes to purchasing an outer burial container is choosing between a vault or a liner. If cost is your main consideration then a liner is probably your best bet. If you have concerns about the degradation of the casket and money is not an issue then a vault will be more attractive to you. High end vaults can be quite ornamental and may have special features such as personalization.

PRO TIP:  Burial vaults are a key area for overspending. Decide how much you can afford to spend before you begin shopping. This can help you avoid purchasing something you really don’t need or want.

STYLES OF BURIAL VAULTS
Wilbert Citadel
THESE OUTER BURIAL CONTAINERS ALSO SUPPORT THE SOIL BUT ARE SEALED TO HELP PROTECT THE CASKET FROM THE ELEMENTS. VAULTS ARE MADE FROM METALS (SUCH AS STEEL, COPPER AND BRONZE), CONCRETE, PLASTIC, AND COMPOSITE PRODUCTS.
Wilbert Monticello
CONCRETE VAULTS OFTEN HAVE INNER LINERS MADE OF METALS OR COMPOSITE PRODUCTS.
Wilbert Copper Triune
SOME VAULTS HAVE AN AIR SEAL THAT USES AIR PRESSURE TO HELP KEEP THE ELEMENTS AWAY FROM THE CASKET WHILE OTHERS ARE TOP SEALED.
urn vault
VAULTS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR BURIAL OF URNS.

It is unlawful under Federal law for a funeral provider to tell a customer that outer burial containers are required by state or local laws, or by particular cemeteries if such is not the case. Generally, outer burial containers are not required by state or local laws, but they are oftentimes required by cemeteries to prevent the grave from collapse.

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