What Is a Cemetery Vault?

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If you are planning to bury a loved one, you may have heard you need to purchase a cemetery vault. But what is a cemetery vault, and is it really necessary?

When a person is buried, a casket is typically used to protect their body from the elements. Over time, the surrounding earth can shift, the landscape will be altered by other burials, and the water table naturally fluctuates. This can cause damage to the casket, and eventually, the deceased person.

A cemetery vault is a type of sealed container that the casket is placed into. It reinforces the burial space and acts as an extra layer of protection from these external forces. It also helps support the headstone from shifting over time.

<< Learn more about the headstone setting process here! >>

Cemetery vaults are typically made of concrete. This material is most expensive, but also the most effective at protecting the body for longer. Metal options, such as steel, copper, and bronze, are also available.

They are not typically decorative, because unlike the casket, they are not meant to be seen. However, you can sometimes choose to have it engraved with personal or religious symbols. Some vaults even have an option to include photographs of the deceased person.

What Is an Urn Vault?

On the other hand, if you plan to inter the cremated remains of your loved one, you can opt for an urn vault.

This option works in the same way as a burial vault, by protecting the urn from damage caused by the surrounding earth. It may be required in order to prevent contamination of the groundwater, especially if you are burying the urn on private property,

Urn vaults are also typically available in concrete, stainless steel, copper, and bronze. It is the best way to provide a secure final resting place for your cremated loved one.

What Is a Grave Liner?

Is there a difference between a cemetery vault and a grave liner? Yes – a big difference.

While cemetery vaults are sealed to prevent dirt and water from entering the space, grave liners do not offer this same level of protection. Instead, their only function is to support the ground and prevent it from sinking or shifting.

Many cemeteries require them in order to protect their landscape and the nearby burial sites. They are typically made of porous concrete, and sometimes include drainage holes.

Do I Need a Burial Container?

Now that you know the different types of burial containers on the market, you might be wondering if they are totally necessary.

If you are on a tight budget, no one can blame you for wanting to skip this major purchase. You may also feel that decomposition is a natural and important process, and you do not see the point of delaying it.

These are good reasons for not wanting a burial vault, but ultimately, it depends on the cemetery where the person is buried. Most cemeteries require a vault or liner, while a few may not.

If you are not sure, you can simply ask the funeral director about their burial requirements and pricing plans.

High-Quality Memorial Products in Maryland

No matter how you choose to lay your loved one to rest, trust Merkle Monuments to create personalized memorial products to honor their memory.

From high-quality grave markers to beautiful urns, we have a wide range of customizable options. We work hard to walk you through the process, helping you make the best decision that will fit within your budget.

Call Merkle Monuments to begin your project today!