The ageing, operational and ambient loadings have a great impact in the operational and maintenance cost of concrete structures. Their service life prolongation is of utmost importance and this can be efficiently achieved by using reliable and low-cost monitoring and self-healing techniques. In the present study, the ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) method using embedded small-size and low-cost piezoelectric PZT (lead zirconate titanate) ceramic transducers in concrete with self-healing properties is implemented for monitoring not only the setting and hardening phases of concrete since casting time, but also for the detection of damage initiation, propagation and recovery of integrity after healing. A couple of small-scale notched unreinforced concrete beams are subjected to mode-I fracture through three-point bending tests. After a 24-hour healing agent curing period, the beams are reloaded using the same loading scenario. The results demonstrate the excellent performance of the proposed monitoring technique during the hydration, damage generation and recovery periods.