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After running the 445 to mow, I park it in the shop and notice a small oil leak directly underneath the engine area. I tried feeling around the bottom of the engine, but don't know the engine anatomy enough understand where the leak might be related to. Any advice on the next steps?

Image of the dipstick side with the leak circled in red...it is a very small leak and not enough to puddle....yet.

Thanks.
 

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Probably the plastic valve covers, they were upgraded to metal on the later versions of the engine. Expensive but worth it. Get some brake clean and scrub the engine down and then run it and see if it is wet under the covers. You can find a lot more leaks with a clean engine
 

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What Sundancer268 said. (y)

Also, from looking at the photo you posted, it seems to be very clean at the base of the dip-stick tube. You may want to remove the tube and inspect the o-ring(see image below).

792366
 

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I think the plastic covers always wind up leaking. The o-ring is cheap and easy to change. The other locations I would check is the front crank seal and if your oil drain tube is off oil could seep past the drain plug or even around the little T that the drain plug goes in.
 

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I see oil everywhere. going to have to clean it up and see where it comes back. the common leak points have been mentioned: valve covers, crank seals, dipstick tube... really any joint that sees oil.
 

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Even changing the Valve Cover O-Ring will not stop the leaking. I even used Silicone Gasket maker on those plastic covers and the leak returned in a few weeks. I believe they warp and the O-Ring even with Silicone can't make up for the bad part.
 
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