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Attached is pictures of my HVAC plenum, where it meets the ceiling.

Recently I had water damage(from upstairs neighbor) and I had to replace entire ceiling. After new ceiling I see this gap (yellow arrow) between this metal piece and the ceiling.

Any idea what is the purpose of this metal piece (blue arrows) ? If it is just to hide the gap between ceiling and HVAC duct, can I remove it and seal the gap with something else (may be some expandable foam covered by foil tape ) ?

If it is to hide the gap, I can unscrew and make it flush with ceiling but I will have to drill new holes in HVAC plenum which I don't want to do.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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    Did the whole duct drop down an inch? Oct 3 at 15:27
  • It was probably a swap. Those guys come in and hack in the new furnace and get out. They don't care about quality. They are furnace pushers. 🤣
    – DrSparks
    Oct 3 at 21:06
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It's just a trim piece designed to cover the penetration made by the duct. It was, decidedly, very poorly done, and whoever did it is either very bad at sheetmetal work or has no professional pride. Looks like you could remove the screws and push it up more. You may have to work it a bit. If you don't have a hand brake, you can use a wide nose pliers (like a lineman's pliers) to bend the metal.

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  • Note that if "upstairs neighbor" means this is a rental apartment, then it's likely that the OP is not legally allow to do his own work. Also, getting quality work done should be the responsibility of the landlord. Contacting the landlord to have him inspect the work done by these "pros" would be recommended. If, however, it's a condo or other owned property, doing one's own work may or may not be allowed.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 4 at 15:02

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