5 Tips for Time Capsule Burial of Family Time Capsules
You can safely bury any Future Line Family or School Time Capsule for up to 50 years or more. Read and follow all instructions that come with the time capsule. Use common sense when placing any time capsule in the ground. You will need to use the sealant that is included to assure proper sealing, so if you are ordering the 'baby time capsules' we sell, add a sealant to your order.
Here are some practical considerations to think through first before burying this (or any) time capsule. Most of this information also applies to our capped time capsules. The information and the latest information is included with any time capsule purchase.
1. Preparation Tips for Time Capsule Burial
- First, be sure you can close the time capsule properly. This means the lid fits on the capsule body as well as when you opened the package from us. Try opening and closing the time capsule a few times before you need to do the final closure.
- Open the sealant package right away and read the instructions. The capsule comes with a silicone sealant and wax treatment. Look for the "How to Apply" instructions on Side 1 of the instruction sheet. Read it.
- Allow time after you do the sealing so that the sealant can "cure". Curing simply means that the sealant hardens up after you apply it. This takes several hours to completely set or cure. Then, you can apply the wax treatment around the sealed area. Allow that to harden.
- Now you are ready to place the time capsule.
2. What Not To Do
- DO NOT wrap plastic around the time capsule. Why? Incoming water hits the plastic, forms little puddles, and stays on longer than necessary. Plastic keeps any water from draining through.
- DO NOT use a vault that collects water so that the capsule sits in water over time. If you use a vault, be sure that it has an open bottom for drainage.
3. How to Place Your Time Capsule in the Ground
Place cylinders up and down, in a vertical position, with the lid on top. For the longer time capsules, use a post hole digger or similar tool. When you place it in a vertical position, you help prevent crushing. Vertical placement uses the shape's natural stacking strength to its advantage.
How far down?
In most areas, 18" to 24" is a good depth. This is the area in between the top of the time capsule and the ground level. You want it to be deep enough down in the ground to get a stable temperature. Having a stable temperature is one good thing about burial. See our article on why insulation is important for time capsules.
Treatment over time
- Never place the capsule in an area that receives regular watering. For instance, do not place it in a garden.
- Do not wrap your time capsule in plastic.
Your location may have particular traits to consider. Is it below sea level? Is the ground saturated? Is the ground loose or prone to collapse? Are there utility pipes or wires in the area? You will need to plan accordingly.
4. Why Burial is better than certain other placement conditions
Do Not Place a Time Capsule Where the Sun Shines
Never place the capsule so that it is close to the elements. Sometimes customers visualize an engraved time capsule lid that they can walk over. They may wish to insert the time capsule inside of a sculpture. They may need to insert a time capsule into a cornerstone. But over time, temperature changes are not good for the time capsule and contents. To be safe, choose a place for your time capsule that provides a stable environment.
Be Kind to the Time Capsule - Consider Conditions
The photo shows the Deerfield NY time capsule. The bicentennial committee built an enclosure to house the time capsule. Here you see it before they place the insulation around it. It is not good for time capsule contents to be constantly heated and cooled, again and again over time.
5. Think About Insulation
If you are stuck with placing your time capsule in a place near the elements, consider the conditions. Be sure to insulate your time capsule from all changing weather conditions. Use standard precautions if you must place a time capsule inside of a sculpture, in a cornerstone, or near the ground surface. Plan to use plenty of insulation to lessen the temperature changes that occur over time.
If there is little room for standard insulation products, consider nano insulation. It is high in cost, but it is thin and efficient in its protection around the time capsule. Ask us to quote you on an insulation product if you need one. Feel free to discuss your project with us at length.
While you certainly may use the insulation packer we include with our box time capsules, the R-Value is limited. See our article on insulating your time capsule for most recent info.
Sure, there are lots of stories of unsuccessful time capsules that have been buried underground and have leaked, but know this - there are reasons for this to happen.
With the proper thinking, planning and execution of our easy to follow steps - plus a high quality time capsule such as you can purchase from us, you will be assured that the time capsule is opened in the future to provide joy and interest in the contents that have fared well in our time capsules.