This paper presents the results of a feasibility study on an impedance-based damage detection technique using thickness modes of piezoelectric (PZT) patches for steel structures. It is newly proposed to analyze the changes of the impedances of the thickness modes (frequency range > 1 MHz) at the PZT based on its resonant frequency shifts rather than those of the lateral modes (frequency range > 20 kHz) at the PZT based on its root mean square (RMS) deviations, since the former gives more significant variations in the resonant frequency shifts of the signals for identifying localities of small damages under the same measurement condition. In this paper, firstly, a numerical analysis was performed to understand the basics of the NDE technique using the impedance using an idealized 1-D electro-mechanical model consisting of a steel plate and a PZT patch. Then, experimental studies were carried out on two kinds of structural members of steel. Comparisons have been made between the results of crack detections using the thickness and lateral modes of the PZT patches.