Removing tar paper stuck to floor

Q: I have oak hardwood floors that were covered in the 70’s with vinyl type tiles. They laid a type of tar paper over the hardwood flooring. The tiles were then glued to the tar paper. The tiles come up very easily, but the tar paper doesn’t.

In some areas the tar just peels up with light pressure from a putty knife. How can I safely remove the tar paper stuck to floor without damaging the floors?

A: You can try heating up the spots that won’t come up. This, hopefully, will release the tar paper. Mineral spirits might clean up the residue. In the end you may have to have the floors sanded.

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