What is a Burial Vault?

by MSO
burial vault with cross in church

Burial vaults also protect caskets above ground from deterioration such as this one containing the remains of Peter the Great in the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Burial vaults are outer enclosures designed to protect caskets from natural conditions such as weather damage and the pressure of soil. Specifically, because caskets and coffins will eventually rot away, the ground over the grave, given time will eventually subside, flattening the contents buried beneath from the pressure of the soil.

Though not required, some cemeteries will encourage the use of burial vaults as it ensures the ground remains level, giving it a neat and even appearance, as well as reducing the chance of a visitor from tripping on sunken ground.

While burial vaults can prevent water seepage and slows the rate of decomposition, it does not ensure the preservation of both coffin or body.

Burial vaults are available in concrete, metal and plastic form and can be custom designed to appeal to the families or deceased preference, including rose-colored concrete for “the mother of the family” or themed appearances, such as sports or military.

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