Surface response to excitation (SuRE) method is a low-cost alternative to the electromechanical impedance method developed for the structural health monitoring (SHM) applications. This method uses one piezoelectric transducer to excite the surface of a structure with a sweep sine wave. One or more piezoelectric sensors or scanning laser vibrometer monitors the dynamic response of the surface to the excitation. The spectrum of the dynamic response is collected at the optimal operating conditions. Any significant change of the spectral characteristics may indicate defects, improper loading or loose fasteners.