the importance of burial vaults

Making end-of-life arrangements for loved ones can be beneficial. Preplanning funeral and burial arrangements gives the family peace of mind that everything will be taken care of when the time comes.

In this post, we explore the importance of burial vaults and why they’re a valuable option to consider for your loved one’s burial arrangement.

What Is a Burial Vault?

Burial vaults are protective containers placed in the ground to safeguard caskets. They preserve the dignity of the deceased and ensure long-term protection of their final resting place.

Compared to other outer containers that only serve as basic enclosures, lined burial vaults are also designed to protect the casket from external elements like soil and water. Three categories of burial vaults exist with different levels of protection, warranties and personalization options:

  • Basic: Concrete single-reinforced burial vaults contain plastic reinforcement for strength, providing protection against subsoil elements and heavy cemetery maintenance equipment.
  • Standard: With a combination of high-strength concrete, stainless steel and high-impact plastic, these double-reinforced burial vaults provide durable inner protection.
  • Premium: Premium burial vaults offer excellent durability and superior, long-lasting protection with triple-reinforced protection.

premium burial vaults

The Importance of Burial Vaults

Burial vaults preserve a loved one’s memory while providing lasting benefits for the cemetery’s landscape and environment. They enclose the casket’s top, bottom and all four sides. Here are some reasons why you need a burial vault:

Casket Protection

The most important reason families opt for burial vaults is for the extra protection. Burial vaults safeguard caskets from the weight of the soil on top. Heavy equipment and maintenance machinery used on cemetery grounds can cause the soil to sink and the casket to collapse. Lined vaults can also protect against:

  • Water infiltration
  • Soil pressure
  • Insects

Investing in a burial vault ensures the casket’s structural integrity remains intact while maintaining the cemetery ground’s level.

Environmental Benefits

The ground can become unstable in regions with high water tables, heavy rainfall, flooding or other natural disasters. Old cemeteries especially struggle with soil shifting or subsidence, where gravesites collapse or are backfilled with dirt.

Burial vaults strengthen burial sites and provide environmental benefits. They prevent the ground beneath from settling and shifting, ensuring an even and safe surface for visitors and keeping cemetery grounds stable and pristine. This facilitates maintenance and landscaping efforts.

Legal and Cemetery Requirements

No state or local laws mandate burial vaults, but some cemeteries may require any type of grave container or receptacle for the casket to ease landscape maintenance and prevent ground settling. The best way to know what’s right for your family is to research the rules in your area and contact a few cemeteries to see what regulations they have.

This will help you determine if you need to include a receptacle in your budget. Many families choose a burial vault in addition to the casket because they desire additional protection for their loved ones.

Emotional Comfort

Many families find investing in burial vaults worthwhile as they offer peace of mind and other advantages:

  • Comfort: Burial vaults serve as a lasting tribute to loved ones, providing comfort and assurance that their final resting place will remain protected and undisturbed.
  • Tradition: In some cultures and religions, vaults form an essential part of honoring traditional burial practices.
  • Security: Burial vaults act as deterrents against unwanted visitors and safeguard the gravesite from vandalism or theft.
  • Personalization: Some types of burial vaults are highly customizable to reflect your deceased family member’s personality and interests.

Types of Burial Vaults

Modern burial vaults are available in different materials, designs and customization capabilities. They all provide the same structural support — they’re just built differently.

Materials Used

Burial vaults are usually made of concrete, metal or polymers and plastics. Each material comes with its own benefits and considerations:

  • Concrete: Concrete vaults add multiple layers of protection. Typically made with high-strength concrete and various lining materials like bronze, copper, stainless steel and plastics for durability and elegance, these burial vaults come with many personalization options.
  • Metal: Metal burial vaults, especially those made from steel, are highly durable and long-lasting. Steel burial vaults are often dome-shaped in design to regulate air pressure and prevent moisture from reaching the casket. Various sizes, engraving options and styles are available.
  • Polymer and plastic: Polymer resins provide a high strength-to-weight ratio, supporting the weight of the ground above the casket and preventing collapse. Whether plastic is used for a whole burial vault or only the liner, it’s known for its watertightness, durability, easy handling and site preservation.

Differences in Design

Grave liners are unlined and unsealed to protect the casket from soil weight. Burial vaults are normally lined and sealed to prevent external elements from reaching the casket. Some burial vaults use air pressure to air-seal the casket, while others are top-sealed.

When it comes to choosing between standard and reinforced burial vaults, the reinforced types offer superior durability and protection compared to standard vaults. Reinforced burial vaults are fortified with additional layers of high-strength materials like steel, concrete or polymers.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Burial Vault

When choosing a burial vault for your loved ones, consider the following factors to ensure you select the most suitable option for your needs:

  • Climate and soil conditions: In areas with high humidity or frequent rainfall, a burial vault with superior water resistance may be essential to protect the casket from moisture. Cemeteries with softer soils may require a sturdier vault to withstand settling or pressure over time.
  • Budget considerations: Establish your budget for the burial vault and explore options that align with your financial constraints while meeting your requirements for quality and functionality.
  • Personal preferences: If personalization is important, choose a vault that offers options for engravings, inscriptions, nameplates, photos, emblems or other designs that reflect the deceased’s personality and interests.

Whether you’re looking to customize a burial vault or go with something simple is up to you as long as it provides structural stability and durability.

Honor Your Loved One With a Burial Vault From Joseph A. Lucchese Funeral Home

honor your loved one

Making funeral arrangements can be difficult after experiencing the loss of a loved one. By planning ahead and choosing a burial vault, you can ensure the casket will be protected while preserving the landscape and meeting any cemetery requirements.

Our funeral directors at Joseph A. Lucchese Funeral Home can assist you and your family in making informed decisions that align with your preferences and values. We’re committed to addressing all your funeral arrangement concerns with care and attention to detail. With our tailored funeral services, you can lay your loved ones to rest knowing they will receive the utmost care, protection and dignity.

To learn more about our burial vaults and offerings, contact our professional and caring staff dedicated to working with you.