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Burial Vaults

Almost every cemetery requires a burial vault. A burial vault is an outer covering for a casket buried in the ground. It serves two purposes: protect the casket and 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 nearby. It maintains the appearance of the grave as there is less settling of the ground on top of its solid structure.    

Concrete vaults are available with or without a protective lining. In some areas, only those with a lining are called vaults. Those without a lining are sometimes called a grave liner or a rough box.  Those with a lining almost always have a seal to help protect the casket inside from air, moisture, and other elements in the ground. 

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.

Concrete vaults have a deep bottom into which the casket is lowered, and the top is then placed. In some areas, there are metal burial vaults. These are the opposite in form - the bottom is shallow and flat with a raised platform on which the casket rests. The top is much deeper to cover the casket. This type of vault works on the same principle of submerging a glass upside down into a container of water and the inside will not get wet. The leading company of this type of vault also has a website; it shows how this principle works.
Although uncommon, there are some companies that make vaults from thermomolded plastic and fiberglass.
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