What Is a Cemetery Vault?

What Is a Cemetery Vault?

September 30, 2021

If you’re handling the death of a loved one for the first time, the sheer number of details and options can be overwhelming. For people who have never had to deal with funeral arrangements before, every new discovery can lead to a new set of questions.

When you’re deciding how to handle the deceased’s remains, you may be required to purchase a cemetery or burial vault. What is a cemetery vault, and what are they made of? Why do you need one? Read on for an overview of cemetery vaults and why most cemeteries require them.

What is a cemetery vault, and why do you need one?

A cemetery vault is a lined, sealed container that holds the casket. They’re usually made of concrete or similarly strong materials. Generally, no one will see the vault—unlike the casket—so utility is the main concern, rather than appearance.

Cemetery vaults are used to protect the casket when it’s interred. It keeps the casket from being crushed as heavy machinery rolls over the cemetery grounds. It can also keep the ground from shifting and settling around the casket, which can occur over time or after major storms. Many vaults are designed to support up to 5,000 pounds per square inch, so your loved one’s grave will be safe and secure for many years to come.

These shouldn’t be confused with burial liners, which can be made from metal, plastic or concrete. Liners only provide some protection—vaults are designed to provide complete protection from human and natural forces.

Most cemeteries require burial vaults. If you’re unsure as to whether you need one, or if it’s included in the burial and plot pricing, don’t hesitate to ask the director. The last thing you need is to be surprised with an unexpected expense in your time of grief.

Types of cemetery vaults

There are several different types of cemetery vaults. Concrete burial vaults are usually the most expensive, but they also offer the most protection from the elements, shifting earth, sinkholes and high water tables.

Metal vaults are usually made of steel, copper or bronze. Steel is the most cost-effective choice, but all of these materials will provide plenty of protection. They’re also rust-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about wet ground eating away at the liner over time.

Urn vaults are used when you wish to inter your loved one’s ashes, rather than a casket. Since urns usually aren’t completely sealed, this is a good choice to protect their remains after burial. Urns are less likely to experience issues with sinkholes, pressure from heavy equipment or shifting earth, but it’s an added layer of protection all the same.

No matter what type of cemetery vault you choose, it will provide the peace of mind that the grave will remain undisturbed for many years to come.

When you need high-quality monuments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Phillipsburg Memorial Company for a quote. Our compassionate team is ready to help you make difficult decisions during this challenging time.

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