5 Most Popular Types of Roofs in Marin 

Roofing choices for Marin homes run the gamut from red clay tiles, to asphalt shingles, simple tar and gravel and all the designer options in between. Due to the variety of home designs and Marin’s micro-climates, roofing materials vary from coastal homes to inland settings.Before deciding on a roofing material, you’ll want to consider what your roof will need to withstand. Is your home likely to experience high winds and extreme temperatures? Or is it located in an area surrounded by pine trees that create deep shade, moist conditions, and pine needle debris?

Asphalt shingle roof in marin

#1. Asphalt shingles are by far, the most common found on Marin homes. They offer a reliable, easy to install roof covering that is affordable and looks good. They also come in a variety of colors. However, the newer architectural shingles, that are thicker and give a dimensional look are gaining in popularity. The difference in price is often the determining factor.

#2. Spray foam or tar and gravel are popular materials for flat roofs, for both residential and commercial structures. The Eichler designed homes found in large numbers in the neighborhoods of Terra Linda and Lucas Valley have flat roofs, which present their own challenges when it comes to roof coverings. Homeowners are advised to refrain from walking around much on their spray foam or tar and gravel coverings, as foot traffic can damage the roof. Pooling rainwater on a flat roof can cause damage during the winter months, if there are any cracks or breaks in the roofing material for the water to seep under. Birds seem to be fond of pecking away at spray foam, potentially weakening the protective covering. Tar and gravel also seem to be taking a back seat to options like,  Duro-Last, a thermoplastic material that is becoming a popular, energy efficient alternative for flat roofs.

#3. Clay tile roofs, that add Mediterranean charm, are a crowning glory on many Marin homes, often coupled with stucco siding. Tiles provide added insulation and are great for homes that get a steady downbeat from the summer sun. Traditional clay tiles are heavy. Some homes require a reinforced roof structure before the tiles can be installed. In Europe, clay tile roofs have lasted on structures for over a hundred years. They are a great choice if you can afford an efficient, expensive, beautiful roof that may outlive you.

#4. Composite roofing materials are becoming more popular for a number of reasons. They can be crafted to resemble everything from cedar shakes (illegal in California – too flammable), to the desirable slate or tiles. Some are made of concrete, some may be made of recycled plastic or rubber and other materials creating a roof covering that is lighter than real clay or slate, but still very durable and aesthetically pleasing.

metal roof in marin

#5. Metal roofing is gaining in popularity, both because of its potential for longevity and the fact that the designs are improving as homeowners demand styles elevated from those that cover outbuilding and barns.

Many factors can influence a homeowner’s decision to choose one roofing material over another. Budget, the length of time you’ll be living in the home, geographic location, and personal aesthetics all impact the decision-making process. If you are uncertain about how your geographic miniclimate affects your home’s roofing needs, you can contact a roofing professional to offer some suggestions. Fire safe and fire resistant materials are also a growing demand, both due to local building codes as well as due to individual homeowner concerns.


If you are considering a new roof and would like to get an estimate or want to explore roofing materials in more detail, contact us today. One of our experienced professionals would be happy to help you.