We recently pulled up the carpet in our bedroom, and found this gray covering over the wood subfloor, which seems to be adhered to the wood with a black adhesive (some previous owner scraped away a small portion of the gray/black stuff off the wood, but it covers most of the floor). We are going to install new hardwood in this room, and we were told that we should remove the gray covering due to moisture getting trapped there.
First, any idea of what this might be, and what kind of adhesive? The house is older (built in 1928), but we don't have any idea when it was installed or what it is. It doesn't seem to feel quite like linoleum, and it's not that thick, maybe 1/16 of an inch. It appears to have stained with water spots in places.
Second, how should we go about removing it? Given the age of the house, I assume that it is likely that this substance contains asbestos; is there a safe way to remove it? Or, if it is too risky or too difficult to remove, is it possible to install hardwood flooring over this?
Like I said, some previous owner did try removing some of it, but only removed maybe 10 square feet, and may have given up after that. The lines around the removed spot are rough and jagged, looking like pulling up that portion wasn't easy.