Burial Vaults for Caskets and Urns

What are they and are they required? Most cemeteries requires one to bury a casket; fewer of them require one to bury an urn. 


A burial vault is an outer box in which a casket or urn is placed for burial. They are most commonly made from concrete but some are made from metal. They serve two purposes: protect the casket or urn and to maintain the integrity of the grave. The vault's structure protects the casket from the elements in the ground and also from the common use of heavy equipment in digging other graves in the area. It maintains the appearance of the grave as there is less settling of the ground on top of a solid structure, the vault. 

   

Vaults are available with or without a protective lining. Those with a lining also have a seal to help protect the casket or urn inside. Those with a lining usually also have a seal to help protect it from air and moisture. 


Some vaults provide additional protection by being double or triple reinforced. One of the manufacturers has a website with pictures and illustrations to help explain this.   

Burial Vaults for Urns

Vaults for urns can be much the same as those for caskets. There is however, one significant difference. There are urns that are made from durable materials and are therefore accepted without a burial vault. The reason that many cemeteries give for requiring this type of urn is that it protects the ashes inside. A wooden urn would deteriorate under the ground and allow the ashes to seep into the ground. This would make them unrecoverable in the event that the next-of-kin wanted to move the ashes (the urn) to another location. The term frequently used by cemeteries is that the ashes must be in an "impervious" container or urn. This material is most commonly marbleon (a synthetic marble) or granite.  


Your funeral director will be able to guide you according to each cemetery's requirements. 


Vaults are available with or without a protective lining. Those with a lining also have a seal to help protect the casket or urn inside. Those with a lining usually also have a seal to help protect it from air and moisture. 


Some vaults provide additional protection by being double or triple reinforced. One of the manufacturers has a website with pictures and illustrations to help explain this.